Power has always been part of Patrick Wisdom’s game. In the past, with that power came strikeouts. This season, Wisdom has been able to adjust by not only cut down on the strikeouts but also be more patient at the plate.
“There hasn’t been a physical change to my swing, but just mentally knowing and being confident in my swing. It’s been fun to play like that. I’ve been trying to just keep things simple, and not try to do too much. I know it’s a cliché thing to say, but it’s so true.”
The results so far have translated to a player now that is not only a power source, but a more balanced player at the plate. Wisdom is currently batting .296/.373/.496 this season with 12 HR, 18 2B, 1 3B, 50 RBI, and 51 runs scored. One area that often goes unnoticed about Wisdom is his improvement on the base paths. In 10 stolen base attempts this season, Wisdom has successfully stolen 9 bases. Being on base more presents those opportunities to show a different aspect of his game. Wisdom’s 9 bases stolen this season is the second highest total in his professional career (2015 AA Springfield 11 SB).
After getting more experience with the Cardinals in Spring Training, Wisdom feels like he has the skills to have success at that level.
“That’s kind of what I worked on in the offseason, to just stick with an approach and relax up there. Just not grip the bat so tight and try to crush the ball on every single pitch that comes in up there. Staying loose at the plate and having fun .”
Nearly every article about baseball today focuses on sabermetrics. Launch angles and exit velocity are popular statistics for the sabermetric crowd. In Memphis though, Wisdom is more focused on how his swing feels.
“For me, I don’t tend to look at the numbers per se. I’ll look at my swing and try to understand if I’m getting too steep or too loopy. Try to find that happy medium of driving a ball on a line, and not necessarily that long fly ball or rolling over. Buda and Stubby do a good job of getting us focused on those line drives and being able to drive the ball to all fields.”
Players on the verge of making their major league debut have to be under an intense amount of pressure while waiting for their opportunity. Wisdom isn’t focused on when or if he will get the call to the big leagues this season, his focus is improving his game and winning another championship in Memphis.
“I think for us, it’s just going to be playing our game like we have been all year. It’s just taking care of the little things, fielding the routine ground balls, throwing strikes, coming through with runners in scoring position. If we do all of those things, I think we’ll come out on top again like we did last year. We’ve got another stellar squad and good staff. Things are heading in the right direction and it’s been fun to play.”
Rapid Fire – the section where you get to know more about your favorite players.
What’s your favorite type of music? Favorite Artists?
“Country! I mean, I like all types of music but if I had to pick one it would be Country. Garth Brooks or George Strait, can’t go wrong with those two.”
Outside of baseball, do you like any other sports? Favorite teams?
“I like football and I follow the Chargers and Seahawks.”
What do you do to relax outside of baseball?
“I like to golf, big fan of golfing. I like to be outdoors, whether that be fishing, hiking, stuff like that.”
Who is the worst golfer on the team?
“I don’t play with too many bad golfers, but I’m gonna say Poncedeleon just because I know it’ll rattle his cage.”