Kolten Wong is one of the top prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, but is probably currently better known as the guy who got picked off first base to end game 4 of last season’s World Series.
Wong is a small in stature, 5’9″ and 185 lbs., but he is big in praise, Cardinals second and third ranked prospect by Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America respectively. The second baseman did not shine in his brief stint in 2013, a .153 average in just 32 games, but he had an incredibly impressive spring, hitting .375 and posting an OPS of 1.080. His base running doesn’t appear to have improved though, as he was caught on three of five steal attempts.
Wong enters the 2014 season as the starting second baseman in St. Louis after David Freese was shipped off to the Los Angeles Angels and Matt Carpenter shifted over to third base. His defense at second is probably the best on the 40-man roster, but he does not have a very strong arm.
His bat could end up making him a perennial .300 hitter and he could hit a decent number of home runs, but will probably be more of a doubles hitter. He does have the ability to run despite his trouble this spring and his gaffe in the World Series, as he has two minor league seasons with at least 20 steals.
The Cardinals did bring in veteran Mark Ellis as a backup plan should Wong struggle again this season, but he should get every chance to take the job and run with it. Despite falling just short in the World Series last year, the Cardinals have a loaded system, and Wong is just one of the gems in that system.