One of the St. Louis Cardinals prospects making waves this spring is Patrick Wisdom. Will he have enough to break camp with the big boys?
The St. Louis Cardinals were pleased to have many surprises witnessed during their 2016 spring training. These included the surprise of Aledmys Diaz and Jeremy Hazelbaker. Diaz broke camp with the Cardinals thanks to injury (a serendipitous injury) and Hazelbaker broke camp due to surprising ability. Are we witnessing another surprising ability surging?
Enter Patrick Wisdom. If you aren’t familiar with Wisdom, there are plenty of reasons why this would be the case. For one, Wisdom has not yet broken the glass ceiling of the majors. For another, Wisdom has had some forgettable seasons.
No offense to Wisdom but the above is simply true. I have had the pleasure of watching Wisdom in person in Memphis and I can assure you that what we are witnessing in spring training this season is NOT the norm that we have witnessed from Wisdom in Memphis and in years past.
Wisdom’s difficult path to the majors (which continues today), has been plagued with injury and under-performance. Wisdom was drafted in the first round of the 2012 amateur draft by the St. Louis Cardinals out of St. Mary’s College of California. This 25-year-old third baseman has never seen an at-bat at the major level.
That said, Wisdom has worked through the minors reaching the AAA-level for the first time in 2016. Here’s a look at his offensive numbers to date:
Report from Baseball-Reference.com.
Notice that his numbers hovered near, but not above, the fabled Mendoza line. I’ll come back to his spring numbers in a bit. This said, he defense was strong enough to see him climb the ranks. Here’s a look at his defensive stats to date:
Report from Baseball-Reference.com.
Notice that his numbers are breaking any records but aren’t too shabby either. One stat that jumps off the page to me is his RF/G at third: 2.46. Granted this is at the AAA-level, but, as a point of comparison, Jhonny Peralta commands just a 2.45 RF/G. This means that these two players- thinking defensively- are basically a wash.
See now how the organization might hold strong interest in Wisdom? Wouldn’t he be a serviceable backup to Peralta should he be needed?
Let me now shower Wisdom with some praise. The title of this article is “Have a Spring, Patrick Wisdom” because he is doing just that. In just ten at-bats (eight games; very limited sample size), Wisdom is batting .300/.364/1.000 with one double and two- yes two- home runs!
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Is this some anomaly? It would certainly seem to be if we compared his 2017 spring to the previous springs to which he received invitations: 2013, 2014, and 2016.
In 2013, he posted a .083/.154/.083 in twelve at-bats. In 2014, he posted a .167/.167/.500 in twelve at-bats. Last year, in 2016, he posted a slash line of .158/.200/.368 in nineteen at-bats. In other words, this year might be an anomaly or might be his natural, learned progression.
Wisdom is certainly out-pacing himself thus far in his mere ten at-bats. Will he continue the work and continue to have one heck of a spring? Time will tell but for the current time, Wisdom should enjoy his progress.
I do not project, at this point, that Wisdom will break camp with the St. Louis Cardinals. Instead, I predict that he will start in Memphis but might not be there for long– whether this comes in a promotion or a trade.
What do you think? Will Wisdom be a name to be involved this year? Where will Wisdom end: with the Cardinals or with someone else? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!