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August 20, 2013

Hot Prospect Video

Kolten Wong

by Jason Cole

In an effort to shuffle and kick-start their lineup, the Cardinals recently purchased the contract of 22-year-old second baseman Kolten Wong from Triple-A Memphis. Wong, who ranked no. 34 on Baseball Prospectus’ mid-season top 50 prospects list, figures to slot in as the club’s primary second baseman against right-handed pitching. As a result, All-Star two-bagger Matt Carpenter has slid over to third base, with the scuffling David Freese moving to the bench.

Wong may ultimately see some action against left-handed pitching, though he wasn’t in the lineup against southpaw Travis Wood on Saturday. While the lefty swinging prospect hit .289 against his fellow southpaws in Triple-A this season, he did so with little punch (.383 SLG). On the other hand, Wong posted a robust .310/.386/.504 slash line against Triple-A right-handers.

Listed at 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Wong was the 22nd overall pick in 2011 after hitting .358/.450/.563 in three seasons at the University of Hawaii. Though he lacked big projection given his diminutive frame and second-base profile, Wong’s outstanding feel to hit, solid glove, and mature skill set made him a first-round selection and a likely big leaguer.

Two years later, following successful stints in Low-A Quad Cities, Double-A Springfield, and Triple-A Memphis, Wong has landed in St. Louis. Projecting as a solid-average everyday player at the keystone, Wong should ultimately provide a plus hit tool with a plus glove, average speed, and fantastic instincts. A more in-depth look at Wong’s game can be found in BP’s Eyewitness Accounts entry from July 26.

Between Kolten reaching the major leagues and younger brother Kean becoming a fourth-round pick of Tampa Bay, the Wong family is having an eventful 2013 season. Earlier this summer, I spoke with Wong about his brother, being discovered as an amateur in Hawaii, his swing, his glove, and his Triple-A success.

Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals from Jason Cole on Vimeo.

Jason Cole is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

Related Content:  St. Louis Cardinals,  Kolten Wong,  Interview

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