Patrick Wisdom Moves Up
By Ryan Piers, Broadcasting Assistant
After winning three-of-four games against Burlington, the Chiefs welcome in Wisconsin for a three-game series before beginning a six-game road trip at Clinton. They enter this crucial stretch of their season without one of their main run producers, Patrick Wisdom, who was called up to Palm Beach Wednesday.
Wisdom’s jump to High-A is one that many expected the former first round pick to make at some point this season. Even with his absence to be expected, Wisdom will certainly be missed at third base and in the middle of the Chiefs order. He served as one of the Chiefs main power sources during his time in Peoria, blasting 13 home runs and driving in 62. Wisdom finished second on the team in both categories behind second baseman Jacob Wilson, who was promoted to Palm Beach on July 31.
The recent loss of both Wisdom and Wilson leaves the Chiefs lineup a bit sparse for power. The two combined to belt 28 out of the teams 53 homers this season, as well as drive in 30 percent of the team’s runs. Apart from being important run producers, Wisdom and Wilson were patient hitters combining for 82 walks during their stint with the Chiefs
Jeremy Schaffer becomes the de facto leader in long balls with nine, with two of them coming in game three in their recent series against Burlington. The rest of the current roster has combined for eight. That may not seem like much, but it’s important to remember that this Chiefs team is not built on a home-run happy offense. Their strengths are in their pitching and defense. The staff is in the top three in the Midwest League in earned runs, and the Chiefs have committed the least amount of errors in the league.
There is also a platoon of players who can fill in for both Wisdom and Wilson in the infield. Defensively stellar SS Ildemaro Vargas is very serviceable at third and the newly added Trevor Martin- who is batting .556 in nine games- is a natural at the hot corner. Another newcomer, Bruce Caldwell, has a fair amount of pop and plays second while Breyvic Valera is versatile enough to fill in at either position. Juan Herrera, who made his Chiefs debut on Tuesday, can help compensate for the team’s decrease in power.
Although their absence is palpable, the loss off Wisdom and Wilson isn’t a crushing blow to the offense and ultimately the team’s playoff chances. They are a squad built on much more than home runs, and have plenty of players ready to step up.
Our video team of Ryan, Kristin, Andrew and Aaron produced this compilation of Wisdom’s highlights at Dozer Park this season, accompanied by Nathan Baliva’s radio calls. All the best to Patrick as he plays in Palm Beach and makes his way through the Cardinals organization.