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Panik named Northwest League MVP

Giants' first-round pick tops circuit with 52 RBIs for Volcanoes
August 30, 2011
Giants first-round pick Joe Panik was voted Northwest League MVP on Tuesday as the short-season circuit revealed its postseason All-Stars.

Panik, selected 29th overall out of St. John's University, is hitting .335 with six homers and a league-leading 52 RBIs in 66 games for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. He also has 13 bases and is batting .346 with runners in scoring position.

The Hopewell Junction, N.Y., native is the second Giants prospect to earn MVP honors on the day -- Jose Cuevas was named Arizona League MVP after leading the Rookie-level circuit with nine homers and 46 RBIs.

Panik, a 20-year-old shortstop, is joined on the All-Star infield by Boise Hawks first baseman Paul Hoilman (.248, 15 homers, 41 RBIs) and catcher Rafael Lopez (.307, 5, 33) and Vancouver Canadians second baseman Jon Berti (.301, 1, 21, 22 stolen bases). Jimmy Comerota (.319, 1, 34, 11) of the Yakima Bears and Travis Whitmore (.299, 1, 29) of the Eugene Emeralds both made the team at third base.

A pair of Volcanoes, Brett Krill (.315, 6, 43) and Jesus Galindo (.274, 2, 18, 42), flank Jabari Blash (.291, 10, 41) of the Everett AquaSox in the outfield. Another Salem-Keizer slugger, Mike Murray (.338, 6, 48), made the squad as the designated hitter.

Tri-City Dust Devils teammates Christian Bergman (7-5, 2.69 ERA) and Ken Roberts (3-2, 1.98, 10 saves) are among five All-Star pitchers. The rest are Vancouver teammates Justin Nicolino (5-1, 1.03) and Drew Permison (1-1, 1.74, 14) and Everett's Jose Campos (5-4, 2.12).

Freddie Ocasio was voted Manager of the Year after guiding the Dust Devils to the first-half Eastern Division title.

Most Valuable Player: Joe Panik, Salem-Keizer
Manager of the Year: Freddie Ocasio, Tri-City

2011 Northwest League All-Star Team
Position Players
C Rafael Lopez Boise Chicago (NL)
1B Paul Hoilman Boise Chicago (NL)
2B Jon Berti Vancouver Toronto
3B Jimmy Comerota Yakima Arizona
3B Travis Whitmore Eugene San Diego
SS Joe Panik* Salem-Keizer San Francisco
OF Brett Krill Salem-Keizer San Francisco
OF Jesus Galindo Salem-Keizer San Francisco
OF Jabari Blash Everett Seattle
DH Mike Murray* Salem-Keizer San Francisco
Starting Pitchers
RHP Christian Bergman Tri-City Colorado
RHP Jose Campos Everett Seattle
LHP Justin Nicolino Vancouver Toronto
Relief Pitchers
RHP Drew Permison Vancouver Toronto
LHP Kenneth Roberts Tri-City Colorado

* Unanimous selection

Danny Wild is an editor for