Coors Field in Colorado has long been known as a place where hitters flourish. Its spacious dimensions and thin air allows the ball to fly around with almost amazing regularity. Cubs hitters certainly took advantage of the opportunity last weekend, earning a split with the Rockies.
One Cub who appeared to especially enjoy Coors Field was Patrick Wisdom. Going into the first of four games he sported an .059 batting average for the year with 3 RBI, no doubles and zero homers. Leaving Colorado he carried a .233 batting average, having doubled (no pun intended) his RBI output and accumulating a league-leading five doubles in the process.
For the series Wisdom went 6-for-15, with the aforementioned five doubles and two walks. His on base percentage went from .105 to .294. As I noted, his contributions helped the Cubs split with the Rockies. Such an output tends to validate the faith that manager David Ross has demonstrated in his third baseman.
Then, back home on a blustery night at Wrigley, Wisdom stayed hot – belting a 420-foot home run into the wind for his first long ball of the 2022 campaign. Entering action Tuesday, he’s up to a .242 average on the year and a 97 OPS+.
Comparisons with 2021
Even more interesting to me is how his statistics, albeit in a small sample so far, parallel his breakout season last year. Last year he batted, .231, currently his average is, as I just said, .242. In 2021 he had 61 RBIs in 106 games, this year he has six in nine games. His 2021 on base percentage was .305 compared to .294 this season.
Perhaps most significantly this weekend his hits came on thundering swings that rocketed the ball off his bat. His hard hit statistic now stands at 42.1 percent, approaching his 51.9 percent clip of 2021. I also noticed that his strikeout percentage is down over five percent, from 40.8 percent last year to 35.3 percent so far in 2022. Let’s hope he can maintain this progress and re-emerge as a force for the team’s offense as he continues to play solid defense at the hot corner.
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It’s still early, I know, and this club still needs to prove itself to many of its faithful. Hopefully, Cubs fans everywhere can take comfort in the fact that the Patrick Wisdom, who was so beloved last year, may be back to his old powerful ways.