This article was originally published at the Redbird Daily by Colin Garner, and is now proud to call the Cards Conclave home. Throughout July, we’ll be re-running all 30 Prospect articles as we lead up to Colin’s Mid-Season Prospect Update later in the month.
In Collaboration with Kyle Reis and Birds On The Black, Colin Garner presents you with The Cardinals Top 30 Prospects! Today, we have number 24, Patrick Wisdom.
24. Patrick Wisdom – 3B
Entering age-26 season
Drafted in the 1st round of the 2012 draft
2017 wRC+: 105
What I Like
There’s plenty of things to like about Patrick Wisdom, whether my friend Kyle Reis believes so or not. He did mash 35 homers last year, which, last I checked, was a pretty good number. (It only took him 127 games to amass that total as well). He’s taken a long time to climb the minor leagues, but he’s had success at each stop, even if it might have taken him a frustratingly long time to do so.
He’s also a very good defender at third base, something the major league club can’t say at the moment. He has above-average range and a strong throwing arm, as evidenced by the clip below.
(Side note: Steve Selby is absolutely terrific on the Memphis broadcasts). Anyways, Wisdom is also super close to the majors. Should there be a need for an infielder, especially one that could play third or first, Wisdom will get the call. There’s a little bit of prospect fatigue with Wisdom, and it’s deserved, but the chances of Wisdom impacting the St. Louis Cardinals is much higher than say, Jonathan Machado. That should count for something.
What I Don’t Like
Wisdom strikes out too much and, at 26-years-old, is on the cusp of being too old for prospect lists if he isn’t already. Furthermore, while a total of 31 homers is impressive, the rate stats aren’t high on him. His wRC+, which adjusts for the run-scoring environment and park factors, pegged him at 105, only 5% above league average. Part of that is out of his control; the PCL is as hitter-friendly as it gets, and Autozone Park is no exception. There is a component that Wisdom produces, namely his .243 average and .310 OBP. There’s no way around it, it’s not very good.
There are two things that are really telling about Patrick Wisdom. First, when the Cardinals needed a corner infielder last year, they called on Luke Voit, not Wisdom. Second, the Cardinals didn’t protect him in the Rule-5 draft, which in and of itself wasn’t a big deal, but 29 other teams could have had him for free and didn’t take the chance. To me, that says more about how the Cardinals and the league generally think about Wisdom than any stat could.
In the end, I rated Wisdom as my number 20 prospect on my personal list because of his proximity to the majors. If I did my Top 30 over again, I wouldn’t have him that high, but I definitely feel he belongs in the Top 30. 2018 might be his last chance to make an impact at the big league level, though, as the club does not lack infield depth.
Thanks for reading!