Wisdom drives in four as Saguaros clinch West
Cardinals prospect hit bases-clearing double to help send team to championship game
Patrick Wisdom has a knack for getting clutch hits.
The Cardinals' No. 12 prospect went 2-for-5 with a double and four RBIs Monday as Surprise defeated Scottsdale, 7-3, to clinch first place in the Arizona Fall League West Division as well as a spot in Saturday's Championship game.
"It's exciting and an awesome feeling. [Winning the division] obviously is a big deal for us, and our team is really excited right now," Wisdom said after the win.
The Saguaros (17-10) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Royals No. 5 prospect Bubba Starling laced a two-run double to left field and Wisdom followed with an RBI single.
However, Scottsdale (16-11) steadily chipped away at Surprise's lead, scoring runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to tie the game.
Surprise retook the lead for good in the top of the seventh as Yankees' No. 18 prospect Dustin Fowler opened the frame with a home run before Wisdom blew the game open with a base-clearing double to center field.
"I was just looking for a good pitch to hit. It was a fastball right there and I tried to put a good swing on it and drive those guys in," said the 24-year-old third baseman.
Wisdom might have had even more monstrous game had he not grounded out against Twins right-hander Jake Reed with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth inning.
"They brought in a guy with a good sinker, so I was looking for something elevated. I got a pretty good piece but [shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin] made a nice play on it," he said.
Selected by St. Louis with the No. 52 overall pick in the 2012 Draft, Wisdom made strides this past season in his second tour of the Texas League, improving his batting line to .237/.294/.406 while reducing his strikeout rate from the previous year. Meanwhile, Wisdom's adjustments at the plate didn't detract from his power numbers, as he accrued 14 home runs and 20 doubles in 114 games.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound third baseman has continued to build on that success in the Fall League, batting .250/.286/.450 with two home runs, six doubles and 16 RBIs in 21 games for Surprise. Meanwhile, Wisdom's multi-hit effort Monday extended his hitting streak to six games, and he's driven in seven runs in that span.
"I think I have good at-bats and some not good at-bats," Wisdom said. "It's a constant battle for me, trying to refine and shrink my strike zone. It's something I'm constantly trying to work on, and the Fall League has been a great place for me to do that while facing top-tier pitchers."
With the win, Surprise secured home-field advantage in the AFL Championship, which will be played Saturday at 3:08 p.m. ET at Scottsdale Stadium.
Other Top Performers
• Making his seventh start for the Saguaros, Brewers' No. 27 prospect Adrian Houser allowed two earned runs on five hits and one walk, striking out four over 3 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old righty is 2-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 25 2/3 innings in the Fall League.
• Jacob Barnes was credited with the win for Surprise after striking out four batters in two hitless innings out of the bullpen. The Brewers' right-hander has been outstanding this fall, piling up 17 strikeouts in 11 2/3 scoreless innings across eight appearances.
• Brewers No. 18 prospect Yadiel Rivera went 2-for-4 with a walk to improve his Fall League average to .333. The shortstop also stole his sixth and seventh bases of the season, moving him into a three-way tie for the team lead with Yankees prospects Tyler Austin and Fowler.
• The Rangers' Jurickson Profar filled out the box score yet again, going 1-for-2 with a double, three walks and two runs scored. The former top prospect is batting .250/.350/.469 with nine extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and more walks (11) than strikeouts (eight) through 17 games for Surprise.
• For Scottsdale, Red Sox No. 9 prospect Sam Travis was the only player to finish with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with one run scored and his eighth double of the season. After reaching Double-A this year in his first full season, the 2014 third-rounder has been the Scorpions' most consistent hitter in the Fall League, batting .321/.376/.476 in 20 games.
• Indians No. 28 prospect Yandy Diaz connected on his first Fall League home run -- an opposite-field shot off Houser in the fourth inning -- while Austin Slater, the Giants' No. 18 prospect, went 1-for-4 with an RBI triple.