Patrick Wisdom In The Teeth Of Rangers Mix
The writing was on the wall for Patrick Wisdom in St. Louis, though the rookie third baseman couldn’t necessarily see it at first after the Cardinals acquired first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and moved Matt Carpenter to third base this offseason.
"All my friends were like, ‘Dang. So, what’s going to happen to you?’” Wisdom said. "I was like, ‘I don’t think it will affect me.’ And then the more I thought about it, I was like, ‘Wait, this actually does affect me.’”
The Cardinals knew it too, and they worked to trade Wisdom to the Rangers during the Winter Meetings for utility player Drew Robinson. At the time, it appeared Wisdom was once again blocked at third base, this time behind Jurickson Profar.
But Profar is now the starting second baseman for the Oakland Athletics following a pre-Christmas trade, and the 27-year-old Wisdom, finally, is looking at his first chance at significant major league playing time in 2019.
"I attack every offseason and every season with, ‘I’m going to play in the big leagues,’” said Wisdom, who was drafted by the Cardinals with the 52nd overall pick in 2012. "You always have your sights set on the big leagues and how I can get better and what do I need to do to get better. If you attack every offseason like that, you're going to better yourself at some point. That's what I'm doing this offseason."
The Rangers like Wisdom’s glove at third, his righthanded power at the plate and his overall athletic ability, and they believe the former St. Mary's product could be a late bloomer. He’s coming off his finest minor league season and an MLB debut that saw him hit four homers in 50 at-bats for the Cardinals.
The one concern the Rangers have is his lack of experience, but they are currently rebuilding and have some room to be patient. Nevertheless, the Rangers were considering adding a more proven player who, at the very least, will compete for the starting job in spring training.
"We may add a veteran that we’ll look at,” general manager Jon Daniels said. "We may add somebody to compete over there. We’ll add to our infield. Who it is exactly—what shape and form—continues to be seen.”
2021 Baseball America MLB All-Rookie Team
One area of strength for the 2021 rookie crop was starting pitching.
— Righthander Adrian Sampson, who was non-tendered in November, signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training and is a candidate for the Rangers' Opening Day roster. He finished last season with Texas, pitching better in five appearances (four starts) than his 0-3, 4.30 ERA record suggests.
— Outfielder Willie Calhoun had shed nearly 15 pounds heading into Christmas and was hoping to drop five more before spring training. A former Top 100 Prospect, the offense-minded Calhoun is trying to increase his speed and agility to improve both defensively and on the bases as he tries to avoid starting a third consecutive season in Triple A.