Cubs: Patrick Wisdom is holding his own despite his holes
It was natural for Chicago Cubs fans to question how effective late-blooming veteran Patrick Wisdom would be going into 2022. The 30-year-old slugger came off a 28-home run, 115 wRC+ and .823 OPS season in 2021, which was completely unexpected. We have seen older career Minor League players come up to the Majors and mash for a brief period of time before opponents exposed the chinks in the armor. Wisdom last year displayed his strengths and weaknesses to the extreme, a lot of power but a ton of holes in the swing (41 percent strikeout rate).
Wisdom got off to a brutal start in 2022, but has fought his way back to being productive. So far, he is holding his own.
Cubs: Patrick Wisdom is performing to the best of his abilities
Going into Tuesday’s game against the White Sox, Wisdom is slashing .243/.308/.514 with four home runs, seven doubles, 14 RBI, 136 OPS+, .822 OPS. 133 wRC+ and 38.5 percent strikeout rate. He is coming off a game in which he hit a monster go-ahead solo shot off reigning NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes.
For the type of player Wisdom is, we will take this so far. He is not going to hit for average or get on base at an elite clip. He will probably never hit above .240 or have an OBP above .310. The strikeout rate continues to be around 40 percent, which is very high. But, he is still slugging home runs and doubles. He already is more than halfway to his 2021 double count (13). It is pretty clear that the strikeouts are always going to be a big part of his game.
The holes in the swing will keep him from being a long-term piece, or at the very least not a regular in the lineup beyond this year. Take the power and passable defense when you get it. If Wisdom gives you 20+ home runs and .800+ OPS, then we can live with the strikeouts and low OBP in a transition year. Hopefully, he can keep this type of pace up.
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Having someone who can hit 20+ bombs is just nice to have considering the lack of power the Cubs lineup has. Wisdom was projected by FanGraphs to be their home run leader by the end of 2022. That remains to be seen, but he is one of four guys (Wisdom, Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki) who have the capability to hit 20+ homers on the year.