Imagine a player with a ton of speed, decent range in centerfield, all the doting attention from old school managers like Dusty Baker because of his potential to "make something happen," and a complete lack of ability to get on base. You're probably thinking about Corey Patterson. I hope you're thinking of Corey Patterson, after all the times we railed on his presence at the top of the Reds lineup last season. Well, Corey's buried on the depth chart on a terrible Washington team this year, so instead, let's turn our attention to Corey 2.0: Dewayne Wise.
Mark Gonzales at the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Ozzie Guillen is considering slotting the 31-year-old Wise in the leadoff spot for the White Sox this year:
Some of the Sox's top decision makers aren't looking at the back of Wise's baseball card, which includes a .214 lifetime major league batting average and merely pitstops at Toronto, Atlanta and Cincinnati before joining the Sox last season.
As of now, the Sox seem excited by the fact that Wise has shown the initiative as the leadoff batter, as he stole second base and scored a run in the first inning of Thursday's 9-3 loss to Kansas City, and that Wise dropped a bunt single that led to a run in the fifth.
Ugh, he's going to succeed based on "initiative"? He's currently battling 28-year-old Jerry Owens for the centerfield-slash-leadoff job; both are lefties. But Wise has a .254 career on-base-percentage. TWO FITTY FOUR. Take Barry Bonds' 2004 OBP, slice it in half, and subtract 50 points. You've got Dewayne Wise's career OBP. Take Jeff Francouer's OBP from last year, one of the worst rates in the big leagues, and you still have to subtract 40 points to get Wise's career OBP.
The five projection systems collected by Fangraphs agree that Wise will notch up to about a .300 OBP in aught-nine, but really, that's too far below league average for someone in the leadoff spot. The kid is fast, no doubt. He can hit tater tots, really, his isolated power is great for a player of his stature. But really, if Ozzie Guillen bats Dewayne Wise leadoff on opening day, we may be forced to put the dude's name on a t-shirt.