clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Here are some words of (Patrick) Wisdom

A look at the Cubs’ rookie third baseman

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

There’s not much doubt, even among the intelligentsia, that Patrick Wisdom and his prodigious power and equally prodigious K-rate have played themselves on to the 2022 Cubs roster.

He plays better-than-average defense, has plus speed, and in a pinch can play first base or corner outfield positions. Patrick Ian-Cashel Wisdom is a bona fide streaky hitter who can carry a club one day and bury them with strikeouts in crucial spots the next.

Originally a first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals (No. 52 overall), Wisdom had never, before 2021, had an extended MLB look outside of spring training. Before coming up to the Chicago Cubs’ major league roster this season, Wisdom had had 78 at-bats at the top level (50 with the Cards in 2018, in 32 games, 26 with the Texas Rangers in 2019, and two with the Cubs in 2020). His line with the Cardinals is certainly indicative of his expected numbers — 19 SO, 4 HR, 10 RBI, .260 BA, .362 OBP, .520 SLG, .882 OPS.

In 362 plate appearances with the Cubs, he’s at 148 SO, 27 HR, 59 RBI, .235 AVG, .305 OBP, .521 SLG, .826 OPS. That’s not wildly variant from that 50 ab sample. Extrapolated to 400 at-bats for counting numbers: 32 HR, 80 RBI. RBI are dependent on opportunities, and the Cubs have suffered from a couple of notable man-on-base and/or RISP inefficiency streaks.

That’s a decent hitter in this day and age of launch angle, not awfully dissimilar from a member of the previous core. I’d bet his RBI increase with a season of batting 4-5-6 in a contact-oriented lineup, which is the kind of team manager David Ross professes to like. (see also BBRef’s 162-game avg, which tends to agree).

He’s on Twitter (@PatrickWisdom5), though he’s not especially active there. He was active in the Nashville and Memphis communities while he played there.

Patrick was born August 27, 1991, in Murrieta, California. He went to Murrieta Valley High School, where he hit .345 his senior year, and Saint Mary’s College of California, where he won several awards as a ballplayer. His best year in the minors was as a member of the Nashville Sounds, where he hit .240/.330/.513/.843 with 31 home runs and 74 RBI.

He appeared in two games in 2020 as a member of the Cubs, and was a free agent that winter. On January 5, 2021, Wisdom re-signed with the Cubs organization on a minor league contract and he was selected to the active roster May 25, 2021.

The rest is recent history. He’s set the Cubs’ rookie home run record, will likely eclipse the Cubs’ strikeout record (199 by Kris Bryant) in futuree years if given the chance and probably pass Mark Reynolds2009 total of 223 in 600 at-bats. Reynolds is a really good comparison for Wisdom — his full-season totals look pretty close to what one would expect from a full season of Wisdom (2008-12 especially). though I’d expect more than his 6.8 WAR over five years of Wisdom’s MLB career (if indeed he enjoys such).

Sahedev Sharma of the Athletic in his article September 22, 2021, asks what Wisdom’s ceiling is {$}. He writes: ”Wisdom knows the strikeouts are an issue but has started to realize it might be something best addressed over the course of the winter.”

“I can play at this level,” Wisdom said. I should think the evidence agrees, and I look forward to the results. He’s clearly a building block for the team. His wife and two young daughters can look forward to a little financial security. He’s earned it the hard way, riding the buses.