Cubs Scorecard: Raise the W for Wisdom

Winning streaks come and go, hot streaks of all sorts are very transient, but getting hot, really hot at the plate is really unique.  All of the sayings, quotes, and cliches about how hard it is to hit a baseball are all true.  That is why when a hitter is hot, we celebrate hard. We get excited and we celebrate in the moment because it will end.  And the ending is typically tragic and catastrophic. So this week in the Scorecard, let’s celebrate Patrick Wisdom.

For the year, Wisdom is batting .226, and OBP of 282, slugging .504 with an OPS of .786. His OPS+ is 119 shows him as an above average hitter. The fact most contributing to the energetic numbers is the 10 home runs and 23 RBI’s. According to MLB.com, Wisdom is 10th in home runs, 13th in runs scored, 10th in slugging, and 17th in RBI’s.  Not at all bad numbers for a guy who was still considered a rookie last year. At this rate, he should beat his home run total of 28 from last year when he won Player of the Week honors in early June and Rookie of the Month in June.

We’d like to say that Wisdom is on fire in May, but that isn’t really the case.  He is 15 for 71 in May which is a .211 average, close to his season average and in shooting distance of his career average. But the fun part is that 7 of those hits have come in the last 5 days and 5 games.  Since May 20, Wisdom is 7 for 20 (a .350 average) with 7 runs scored, 4 home runs, and 6 RBI’s.  Not a bad week, and its only Wednesday (at the time of writing). We’ll take a five-game hitting streak over the alternative any day of the week. It is telling, however, that 3 of his 4 home runs were solo home runs.

Wisdom’s story is one of perseverance and work ethic. After three seasons with Saint Mary’s College of California and earning First Team All West Coast Conference honors, the St. Louis Cardinals picked him 52nd overall in 2012. From 2012 through 2018, he bounced around the Cardinals batting anywhere from .215 to .282.  In 2017, he broke out with the Memphis Redbirds, hitting 31 home runs and 89 RBI’s. IN 2018, he debuted in the big leagues on August 18.

In 2019, he found himself shipped over to the Texas Rangers. For the 2020 season, he signed with the Seattle Mariners, but never played in a game and was designated for assignment in August 2020. The Chicago Cubs picked him up in 2021, but he didn’t really play until May 25, 2021. Just a couple of weeks later, he was the National League Player of the week with a 1.719 OPS. Only three players have hit 7 or more home runs in their first 8 starts with a team:  Wisdom, Trevor Story, and Aristides Aquino. By the end of 2021, Wisdom was in the Rookie of the Year conversation and had broken Kris Bryan’s Cubs Rookie home run record at 28.

Though Wisdom’s batting average and on base percentage are doomed to be on the lower end of the spectrum, the power cannot be disputed. As the Cubs continue to find their offensive identity in 2022, Wisdom will remain the key powerhouse that can change the game with one swing. And we’ll celebrate a five-game winning streak and four homeruns in five games.  

Author

  • Larry Goldman

    Larry spends his nights and days watching, researching, and writing about sports in Chicago and the national conversation.

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