Carl Wise is set to see his first action of 2017 with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
It’s been a trying two seasons in the pros for Carl Wise but 2017 represents another chance for the 2015 Vancouver Canadians third baseman to get back on track. The Lexington, South Carolina native – who will turn 23 on May 25 – is expected to make his season debut with Dunedin this week after beginning the year on the disabled list. Unfortunately for Wise, staying healthy was also a problem in 2016.
A fourth-round pick out of the College of Charleston by the Blue Jays in 2015 after signing a $450,000 bonus, Wise had a rough April in which he hit just .185 with no extra-base hits and just one walk. The righthanded-hitting Wise batted only .219 in May but he homered in back-to-back games on the last two days of the month and that led to a .250 June. He began to find his stroke in July by slashing .326/.367/.457 in 46 at-bats but he was placed on the 7-day disabled list at the end of the month. Wise had another good month with the stick in August by batting .303 in 33 at-bats but was again placed on the DL. He ended the year with a slash line of .240/.291/.329 with 32 extra base hits that included five home runs and 26 doubles while driving in 58 runs.
That performance was not enough for Wise to be rated among the Blue Jays 2017 Top 30 prospects by Baseball America after being ranked 25th in 2016. That was after he spent his first season between Bluefield and Vancouver. He had three multi-hit games and batted .258 with two doubles and four RBI in seven games with the Bluef-Jays before making his C’s debut on Canada Day.
Carl Wise has spent the majority of his pro career at the hot corner.
Wise began his Vancouver tenure by going 0-for-10 before getting his first base hit July 3 against the Spokane Indians as part of a two-hit evening. He picked up three more hits to celebrate the 4th of July in Eugene against the Emeralds and put together a hitting streak of 10 games but was only hitting .235/.233/.304 at the end of the month.
Wise connected for his first pro home run in Hillsboro versus the Hops August 16 but was unable to tap into his raw power as he slugged just .308 with the C’s. The question of being able to hit translate his raw power to game power was the question Baseball America had about Wise in its 2016 handbook despite his 6-foot-2 frame and big, strong forearms. He did hit 25 home runs over his three-year career at College of Charleston to go with an OPS of .919.
His future defensive home is also up in the air. Save for a one-game cameo at short in Vancouver, he has played third base in his two years in the minors and has committed 30 errors, 20 of them last year. With a range factor of 2.31 per game last year, Wise may be moved to another position – perhaps left field or first base as he is not the fleetest of foot. BA notes he was a catcher before suffering a thumb injury so the tools of ignorance may be an option for him down the line.
Blue Jays reporter Keegan Matheson tweeted Wise could restore his status as a Blue Jays Top 30 prospect in 2018 if he stays healthy. If Wise can return to the form of last summer with the bat, that prediction could come true.