I don’t even care if it’s weird to celebrate down-the-ballot Rookie of the Year votes. These are two guys who grinded for years to get a chance to show what they could do at the big league level, and with an opportunity in 2021 with the Cubs, they shined.
Congrats to Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel on getting some NL Rookie of the Year votes. You deserved it.
Congrats also to some other guy who won the award or something:
On the year, while playing quality defense at third base, Wisdom hit .231/.305/.518 with a 115 wRC+. He broke the Cubs rookie home run record previously held by Kris Bryant (28 homers), and was worth 2.3 WAR.
Schwindel, who didn’t get any runway until after the Trade Deadline, hit a ridiculous .342/.389/.613 with the Cubs (163 wRC+), and was worth 2.2 WAR. He wasn’t going to get many votes because of how short his time breaking out was, but man was it a huge breakout. By the way, he hit for that much power despite striking out just 15.1% of the time.
With Wisdom, we know the long-term concerns, and he’ll really have to close the huge hole at the top of the zone (at least partially) if he’s going to be a productive hitter in 2022, even in a platoon. With Schwindel, the way he succeeded gives you a lot more confidence that it’ll translate into a productive hitter next year. The rub, though, is that Schwindel played merely passably at first base, while Wisdom was playing quality defense at third and contributing in the corner outfield spots. Both are worth having on the roster for the Cubs, but the Cubs shouldn’t necessarily structure their offseason on the TOTAL ASSUMPTION that these are the two everyday corner infielders next year.
(That said, I’ll be a little bummed if the Cubs don’t make regular starts available for Schwindel out of the gate. The level of production against all pitch types without striking out was just … it was really something else. I want to see what happens next year.)
Congrats to these guys on a really cool story in 2021 for the Cubs.
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) October 13, 2021