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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Is Patrick Wisdom a viable building block for the Cubs?

What Wisdom is at this point isn’t a secret. He’s a big power guy with an absolute ton of whiff in his game. That combo first manifested itself in Triple-A back in 2017, when he hit 31 home runs with the Memphis Redbirds and struck out at a rate of nearly 30 percent. He followed that up with another 31 homer campaign in 2017 with the Nashville Sounds. The K% that year? 27.6.

So nothing about his line this year comes as any sort of surprise. Wisdom has slashed .259/.321/.586/.907 for the Cubs, with 25 homers and a .327 ISO through those 275 PAs. His strikeout rate sits at 39.3 percent, which is easily the highest among any Major League hitter with at least 250 plate appearances under his belt. His whiff rate is 19.3, which trails only former Cub Javier Báez among that same group.

It’s definitely a situation where you have to take the good with the bad. On one hand, you have that power bat. When Wisdom is making contact, he’s hitting the ball hard. His Hard% is at 46.9 percent; only Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Aaron Judge have done so at a higher rate. His Barrel% is at 17.6, which puts him 12th among his position playing counterparts. The ISO trails only Shohei Ohtani, Mike Zunino, and Tatis. Not terrible company to keep.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2021 at 01:37 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, patrick wisdom

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 31, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#6037494)
Building block? Not as I would normally use that term. Could he be a solid, average-ish (1 to 3 WAR) player for the next few years while the Cubs wait for the kids? Sure, he could be that. He could also be the next Ryan Schrimpf. For the most part, the question is moot -- the Cubs are in a position where they have zero reason not to give him a shot, so he'll get his shot. By the time Owen Caissie is 22, Wisdom will be 33 and probably at the end of his useful career if he has one.
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 31, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#6037498)
The Rockies have been accumulating a bunch of these guys, and get excited when one of them turns in a season as a decent ballplayer. Connor Joe has been their version of Patrick Wisdom, becoming a big fan favorite this year while hitting a solid .280./367/.470. He's also 29 (Wisdom just turned 30). It is my belief that you can't build a championship ballclub out of 30ish longtime minor leaguers having career years.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6037507)
It is my belief that you can't build a championship ballclub out of 30ish longtime minor leaguers having career years.

That seems pretty solid.

I mean Wisdom is the same guy who put up a 97 wRC+ in AAA in 2019. I think he's more likely to never put up another season with >1 WAR than he is to be a "building block".
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6037514)
What is Bryan LaHair doing these days, anyway?
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6037518)
What is Bryan LaHair doing these days, anyway?

per Wiki

LaHair is currently a hitting coach for the Billings Mustangs, the Reds' Pioneer League affiliate.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 31, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6037526)
Seems like Mark Reynolds may be a fair comp for a cautiously, but not wildly optimistic scenario?
   7. Walt Davis Posted: August 31, 2021 at 08:00 PM (#6037548)
#2: True but they still come in handy -- see the Giants. And you never know which ones turn out to be the next Justin Turner or Max Muncy. Or which are the AAAA equivalent of Nelson Cruz or JD Martinez (i.e. not as good as those guys in their 20s but a similar proportional improvement in their late 20s-30s taking them from AAAA to average MLer).
   8. Brian C Posted: August 31, 2021 at 08:12 PM (#6037551)
The kind of surprising thing about Wisdom to me is that he seems to play a pretty good 3B. Good reflexes, good arm, good range, especially for his size.

Personally, I don't think he can continue his offensive success long-term while striking out 40% of the time; even Javy Baez and one of the Romines had a lower K% with the Cubs this year.

But still, he's been a genuinely good all-around player for them.
   9. salvomania Posted: August 31, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6037552)
"Hard%"is a different number than the more typically used "Hard-Hit %," which indicates balls hit at 95+ mph. "Hard" is a part of a different classification system that breaks batted balls into either "Soft," "Medium," or "Hard."

By Hard-Hit%, Wisdom is 12th. Still great, just not as great as third.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: August 31, 2021 at 10:33 PM (#6037578)
No.. Next question.
   11. Voodoo Posted: September 01, 2021 at 12:09 AM (#6037591)
LaHair is currently a hitting coach for the Billings Mustangs, the Reds' Pioneer League affiliate.

That can't be accurate anymore because the Billing Mustangs are no longer apart of affiliated baseball (nor is the Pioneer League).

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