Carl Wise was taken with the 122nd pick of the 2015 MLB draft by Toronto.
Two members of the 2015 Vancouver Canadians have decided to pursue other ventures. Third baseman Carl Wise and righthander pitcher Ryan Cook reached the end of the road in their respective baseball careers by deciding to retire over the off-season.
Wise was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays out of the College of Charleston. The Lexington, South Carolina native slashed .308/.403/.516 in his three-year college career with 25 home runs and 154 runs batted in. That helped him earn 2nd Team College Freshman All-American honours in 2013 as a first baseman before winning Colonial Athletic Association All-Conference in his junior season at third in 2015.
There was speculation that Wise was going moved to first base or catcher but he remained at the hot corner when he launched his pro career in Bluefield. After a seven-game stint that saw him bat .258, he was promoted to Vancouver and made his debut on Canada Day. The right-handed hitter managed just a .231 average with a home run and 26 runs batted in. Baseball America still believed in Wise’s talent by rating among the Blue Jays Top 30 prospects at the end of the year.
Wise marginally improved in 2016 in Lansing with a .240/.291/.329 batting line with four home runs and 27 RBI. He showed signs of life with by hitting over .300 in small sample sizes in July and August but he battled injuries. He was lauded for his work ethic on both sides of the ball.
Injury troubles led to Wise getting a late start in 2017 with Dunedin as he made his season debut May 10 and singled in his first at-bat of the season. He had back-to-back two-hit games May 28 and 30 and two more two-hit efforts June 4 and 12 but he batted just .172 when he played his final game June 29. He was placed on the disabled list shortly afterwards.
According to his MiLB.com page, Wise retired from the game in early October. His LinkedIn account indicates he is now working as a personal trainer and looking to complete his degree in Public Health back at the College of Charleston. The 23 year-old says his goal is “to grow and inspire others to live a better life”.
Ryan Cook finished his three-year career with nine victories and 150 strikeouts in 159 innings.
Ryan Cook came to Toronto as an undrafted free agent in June of 2015 after spending four years with the Richmond Spiders. He split time as a starter and a reliever and ended his senior year as a starter. He finished with a career record of 15-10 and a 4.34 earned run average while striking out 208 hitters over 220-2/3 innings.
The Gulf Coast League was Cook’s first professional destination in 2015 and he recorded the victory in his debut with 2-2/3 scoreless innings June 23. Seven of his 11 appearances were of the shutout variety as he posted a record of 2-2 with a 1.84 ERA. That earned him a cup of coffee with the Dunedin Blue Jays where he gave up a run over 2-2/3 innings over two appearances before being reassigned to Vancouver where he first appeared on the scene against the Everett AquaSox August 11. He was given his first professional start in Hillsboro August 17 and gave up two runs over 4-1/3 innings while striking out seven. Though he gave up runs in his first five appearances, he shut down Everett in the season finale at Nat Bailey Stadium with three shutout innings to earn the victory September 6.
In 2016, the Houston native spent most of his time with Lansing. His first appearance came out of the bullpen but his first start with the Lugnuts went very well as he spun six shutout innings against the Dayton Dragons April 13. He would lose his next four starts and though he rebounded with a two-runs over five-innings effort in Bowling Green May 10, he would find himself back in the bullpen later in the month. He was placed on the disabled list at the beginning of August with a mark of 1-6 and a 5.30 ERA. Cook was sent up to Dunedin for a couple of appearances in which he went 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA over 2-2/3 innings but he finished the year on a good note by getting a promotion to New Hampshire in which he pitched a scoreless inning September 4.
Cook was sizzling to start off 2017 as he did not give up a run in the month of April. He got the win in his second appearance of the year on April 12 with three shutout frames and added four more goose eggs in a spot start April 22. He began the year with 15 scoreless frames and went to post a record of 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA but had to spend time on the disabled list in late July. He came back but his final appearance saw him surrender two runs without any getting anybody out August 15 and that resulted in another trip to the DL and that appeared to convince Cook to put away the ball and glove for the final time.
Cook talked about his decision to retire at the beginning of the month on his Instagram account.
All the best to Carl Wise and Ryan Cook in their future pursuits.