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Patrick Wisdom Gets Love As a Finalist for the Players Choice Outstanding Rookie Award

Chicago Cubs

The Players Choice Awards dropped their finalists for the 2021 season, which isn’t a perfect indicator of what’s coming in awards season, but it does often tee things up.

For example, the finalists for NL Outstanding Rookie are probably pretty close to who’ll get the call from the BBWAA for Rookie of the Year:

Yes, that’s Patrick Wisdom – holder of the new Cubs rookie homer record – getting some love as a finalist. I think it’s a deserving nod overall, given what he did this past season (he finished third in position player WAR in the NL among rookies, behind only the other two named gents). He might wind up a finalist for the official Rookie of the Year award, too, but Jonathan India is going to take it. Or maybe Trevor Rogers, who was kinda quietly a stud in the Marlins’ rotation.

Overall, Wisdom hit .231/.305/.518 with a 115 wRC+, while playing solidly above-average defense at third base (and chipping in at first and in the outfield). It was clearly a successful year.

Now, then, whether he can continue to be successful with a strikeout rate that touches 40%, well, that’s a conversation we’ve had many times. I tend to think it’s not realistic, and expecting significant improvement on that front – without losing the extreme power that makes him playable – at age 30 is probably a long-shot. He just has a huge hole in his swing at the top of the zone. The discipline is pretty good. It’s just that his swing, the very thing that makes his power so impressive, comes with a big hole.

Keep Wisdom on the roster? Absolutely. Anticipate that he’ll work his way in next year? Absolutely. Foreclose other opportunities this offseason because of his presence? No. Tolerate him as the starting third baseman into next year if it was because the Cubs made other massive additions in the rotation and at shortstop and in the outfield? OK, fine. I’d be good with that.

As for the other awards, which will be presented Thursday,β€―October 28,β€―on ESPN’s 6pm edition of SportsCenter, the finalists are:



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.