In conjunction with my friend Colin Garner over at The Redbird Daily, we present to you our combined list of the Top 30 Prospects in the Cardinals organization! Every other day for the next two months, From January 28th until March 29th, we will be presenting you with an exhaustive evaluation on each of the top 30 prospects in the organization starting with prospect #30 and counting down to prospect #1. This is our combined list, not our own individual lists. For additional information on how we came these rankings, CLICK HERE. Without further delay, we present...
Prospect #24, 3B/1B Patrick Wisdom
Age At The Start OF The 2018 Season: 26
Drafted In The 1st Round Of The 2012 Draft
2017 wRC+: 105
Kyle Reis (Prospect #32 On Personal List, Prior To Combining Lists With Colin Garner)
What I like most about Patrick Wisdom is his spirit, competitiveness, and determination. Wisdom is a professional in every sense of the word. He's battled through a lot of adversity and it's great to see him place on the list even if I don't agree with his exact position on the list.
One thing that's gone unheralded when evaluating Wisdom is how solid he is at both third and first. I've actually been amazed at the amount of scouts that undervalue his defense.
Wisdom is a very good third baseman. He has a strong arm and solid range. More than once last season I watch him wander into foul territory to make a play, then throw the runner out at first. Don't sleep on his defensive capabilities.
Then, when Aledmys Diaz was banished to Memphis, Wisdom was forced to take reps at first. While he wasn't the best there at first, he did show signs of turning the corner and by the end of the season he was making plays like this to catapult Memphis to the Pacific Coast League Championship:
There's some of that spirit that we talked about earlier!!!
Of course, an article about Patrick Wisdom can't be written without mentioning the power potential that he showed in 2017. In 506 plate appearances he hit 31 home runs, 25 doubles, and drove in 89 runs.
It's also worth noting that Wisdom did most of his offensive damage down the stretch for Memphis after nearly all of the other prospects that started at that level were playing for the Cardinals. It's encouraging that he was capable of mashing when he was basically all alone, save for Tyler O'Neill.
While he might not be the flashiest prospect and his time as a relevant prospect in this organization is as close to the end as it can be, Wisdom had a great 2017 season. From a depth/hording perspective, the Cardinals were fortunate that another team didn't select him in the rule 5 draft. I wish nothing but the best for Mr. Wisdom.
What I don't like about Wisdom is EVERYTHING ELSE. Sure, he hit 31 bombs last season, but he did it with a 29.4% K rate and a 7.5% walk rate. The K rate was his second worst in his six minor league seasons and the walk rate was the lowest of his career.
Also of note, this was his second season at Memphis. For his strikeout and walk rates to be that bad for his second tour at the level is a horrible sign, even with the increased power.
That's bad enough, but when you couple that with the fact that Wisdom also spent two full seasons at AA you get a player that's probably only still in the organization because he was a first round pick and because he's good defensively. All of that time spent repeating levels really inflates what he did offensively. It's not exactly measurable, but my guess is that it increases all of his stats between 5% - 10%.
I really like Patrick Wisdom as a person and respect the perseverance that he's shown in the minors. He's an upstanding young man that deserves accolades and admiration. I don't mean these criticisms to discount what he's done. However, we are all being naive if we think that this is the type of player that you can anticipate making anything more than former Cardinals catcher Keith McDonald or utility infielder Alex Mejia did from a major league impact standpoint. Personally, I do hope he gets a chance to make a major league debut and show off that power, but with the Cardinals current infield versatility and the fact that Breyvic Valera and Yairo Munoz already have spots on the 40 man, things are looking bleak for Wisdom.
If I'm comparing Wisdom to anyone, offensively, it's Mariner's OF Stefan Romero, and I'm being optimistic with that. Maybe, just maybe, if Wisdom can refine a little bit this offseason as a last ditched effort to make the majors he'll have an ultimate peak - from an offensive standpoint - of Brennan Boesch. It's hard to find an infield comp for him, so maybe Allen Craig, but only the part of Craig's career in which he was no longer relevant.
As always, these articles can't be done without Fangraphs and Baseball Reference. They are equally as reliant on the skills of Cardinalsgif's and NChill17. It's a pleasure to do this list with my friend Colin Garner at The Redbird Daily.
Thanks For Reading!
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