Have the Chicago Cubs unlocked Patrick Wisdom's best form?
Part of the reason why the Chicago Cubs 2022 season derailed so quickly was due to third baseman Patrick Wisdom slumping in the first month of the campaign. Wisdom had only 1 hit through his first 23 plate appearances of the 2022 season with the Cubs and for a team that was dependent on his power, it was a quick fade to irrelevancy.
Fast forward to 2023 and after an offseason where Wisdom was challenged by Cubs' manager David Ross, the third baseman is a large part of the reason why this team has found success offensively through the first week and a half of games. Wisdom is slashing .320/.370/.760 through his first 27 plate appearances and leads the team with 3 home runs. Wisdom's wRC+ is currently sitting at 191 with a wOBA of .470.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Wisdom's hot start to the season is the success that he has had against right-handed pitchers. Wisdom has 5 hits through 18 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers this season and that is an encouraging sign after he was unplayable against righties in 2022. Wisdom hit .191 against right-handed pitchers last season.
The Cubs unlocking the best offensive form of Wisdom would be a major development for the 2023 season. At the heart, the Cubs are still a team that will struggle to hit the home run this season. If Wisdom can maintain the success that he has had against right-handed pitchers this season while keeping the power intact, that will go a long way toward stabilizing the middle of the Cubs' lineup.
The development of Wisdom may also further complicate things for Nick Madrigal in regard to playing time. Madrigal has flashed signs of his offensive form returning this season but the path to consistent playing time for the converted third baseman still may be blocked at the Major League level with the Cubs.