Kolten Wong
Kolten Wong
29-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
St. Louis Cardinals
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Finally we saw the type of complete season we have wanted to see from Wong since he teased his potential back in 2014. The run production, the speed and the batting average all came together for the second baseman in 2019, turning a nice profit for owners who picked up the 2018 disappointment in the endgame. It was the perfect case of making the most of the talents you're given, because Wong is not a guy who hits the ball very hard. In fact, his average exit velocity was in the bottom 2% of all qualified hitters, and his hard-hit rate was in the bottom 10th percentile. The seasons where his BABIP is good, he has hit .285. When the BABIP is not high, his average suffers. The 12 homers he hit in 2014 remain a career high, and since the juiced ball and extra playing time in 2019 did not get him more homers, that number will remain safe. His 2015 line could very well be repeated here five seasons later. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $25.5 million contract extension with the Cardinals in March 2016 that includes a $12.5 million team option for a sixth year.
Working out regularly
2BSt. Louis Cardinals
May 21, 2020
Wong, who initially stayed behind in Jupiter, Florida when spring training was suspended, has been working out in the St. Louis area for some time, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
ANALYSIS
The veteran second baseman has been able to regularly take groundballs as part of his activities according to Goold, and he's presumably gotten hitting work in some form as well. Given his current location, Wong projects to be one of the players that's present for the small group workouts at Busch Stadium that the Cardinals will be allowed to conduct beginning next week. Wong was building plenty of momentum before play was paused, as he hit .333 (7-for-21) over 10 Grapefruit League contests.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
4
22
1
20
32
33
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
3
15
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+14%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+8%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+22%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+15%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .691 304 26 5 29 5 .270 .331 .360
Since 2017vs Right .788 1063 131 19 110 33 .276 .364 .424
2019vs Left .739 122 11 3 11 4 .288 .333 .405
2019vs Right .797 427 50 8 48 20 .283 .369 .428
2018vs Left .614 96 9 1 9 1 .241 .301 .313
2018vs Right .752 311 32 8 29 5 .252 .341 .411
2017vs Left .703 86 6 1 9 0 .274 .360 .342
2017vs Right .810 325 49 3 33 8 .288 .380 .431
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+41%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+2%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+46%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .759 676 77 10 66 18 .277 .355 .404
Since 2017Away .773 691 80 14 73 20 .272 .358 .415
2019Home .654 282 27 1 27 12 .255 .330 .324
2019Away .922 267 34 10 32 12 .316 .394 .528
2018Home .727 196 22 6 20 2 .249 .314 .412
2018Away .711 211 19 3 18 4 .250 .348 .364
2017Home .943 198 28 3 19 4 .339 .431 .512
2017Away .647 213 27 1 23 4 .237 .324 .323
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Stat Review
How does Kolten Wong compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.57
 
BB Rate
8.6%
 
K Rate
15.1%
 
BABIP
.321
 
ISO
.138
 
AVG
.285
 
OBP
.361
 
SLG
.423
 
OPS
.784
 
wOBA
.344
 
Exit Velocity
86.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
34.0%
 
Barrels/PA
1.5%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Wong has eclipsed 127 games just once in five seasons, and while his glove should keep him in the lineup against righties, he probably won't approach 500 plate appearances. He has matured into one of the top keystone defenders in the game, and the Cardinals don't need his bat to profile at the top of the lineup. Even so, after slashing .213/.304/.361 before the break, Wong posted a .317/.384/.439 line the rest of the season. Of some concern is a declining stolen-base success rate, as he was caught on five of his 11 attempts. Nagging injuries likely played a part but without double-digit bags, Wong's mixed-league utility is tenuous. Also worrisome is the fact Wong's 2018 ended with an MRI on his knee and the discovery of loose cartilage (surgery was deemed unnecessary). With his all-out style of play, a recurrence is possible. He was bad again against lefties (67 wRC+, 74 wRC+ for his career), so look for him to occupy the strong side of a platoon.
While Wong was limited to 108 games due to elbow, triceps and back injuries, his rate stats were better than ever in his age-26 season. He raised his on-base percentage nearly 50 points to .376 thanks in part to another uptick in walk rate (10 percent) and another decline in chase rate, and his .336 wOBA and 107 wRC+ were also well above his previous career highs. Wong was fortunate on balls in play (.331 BABIP), and his 48.1 percent groundball rate doesn't exactly bode well for his ability to increase his home-run numbers dramatically moving forward, but Wong has good speed and instincts on the bases to complement his above-average plate skills -- Wong is 15-for-17 on stolen-base attempts over the past two seasons. Manager Mike Matheny has kept Wong on a short leash so far in his career, but the reins may finally come off after Wong hit .274 with a .360 OBP against lefties last season.
Wong's 2016 showing was one to forget from the beginning, as he got off to a very slow start and hit just .222/.306/.286 through his first 49 games. As a result, he was sent to Triple-A Memphis, where he played seven games and took reps in center field. Upon his return to the majors, Wong was used as a utility man, playing every outfield position in addition to second base. While his batting average fell to .240 from 2015's .262 mark, his OBP rose (albeit marginally) due to his increased patience at the plate (9.4 percent walk rate, up from 5.9 percent). Despite this glimmer of hope, he never returned to his former role as a regular for the Cardinals and was used primarily off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Wong may remain relegated to a reserve role to begin 2017 and thus remain limited to deep mixed and NL-only consideration, especially given the slew of capable middle-infield options around the league.
After breaking out as a playoff star in 2014, Wong showed only marginal improvements in 2015. He hit just .262/.321/.386 with 11 home runs in his first full season in the majors. He dropped one home run and five stolen bases from his 2014 totals despite appearing in 37 more games and taking 180 more plate appearances. The power he flashed in the playoffs was there in the first half, as he hit eight home runs with a .434 slugging percentage before the break. But his second half was brutal, as Wong managed just three home runs, a .322 slugging percentage, and hit an awful .238. Wong never hit more than 10 home runs in the minor leagues, and it’s possible the apparent streakiness of his power in the majors is simply a sign that he doesn’t have much of it. His base stealing remains an asset, however, as he has 35 stolen bases in the past two years.
Manager Mike Matheny made Wong work hard in 2014 to prove he belonged, despite clearly being the superior option over veteran Mark Ellis. Wong was even demoted twice, once in late April and again in late June before finally being handed the starting job at second base in early July. Wong's rookie season wasn't what some had hoped, hitting just .242/.292/.388, but he did show good power and speed, with 12 home runs, 29 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases in 402 at-bats. He also displayed fairly good plate discipline, striking out just 71 times on the season. Wong finished third in Rookie of the Year voting for the NL and should be expected to post better numbers in 2015 as he's handed the starting job from the outset. If the Cardinals' offense improves, which seems likely, Wong could very well be a top-12 second baseman, capable of approaching 20 home runs and swiping at least that many bases.
Wong finally got the call in mid-August but totaled just 62 plate appearances while with the Cardinals, hardly enough time to give any concern to his .153/.194/.169 line. The second baseman had a terrific year at Triple-A posting a .303/.369/.466 line while striking out just 60 times in 412 at-bats, a solid showing for the 23-year-old. With David Freese out of the picture, Matt Carpenter will shift to third and all signs point to the Cardinals giving Wong at least 400 at-bats as their primary second baseman in 2014. There's plenty of promise with the youngster and while he might not an elite hitter at his position, he has the skills to put up good numbers in a terrific Cardinals lineup.
Wong, a 2011 first-round pick, batted .287 with nine home runs and 21 stolen bases for Double-A Springfield last year, and despite the non-eye-popping numbers, the Cardinals will at least give the Hawaii product an opportunity to win a big league job in the spring. It's far more likely that he'll stay in the minors for another year, but he's getting close. Expect him to be the starting second baseman for the Cardinals by 2014, if not sooner.
Wong, a first-round pick in the 2011 draft, tore the cover off the ball in 47 games with Quad Cities last year, showing good speed (nine stolen bases), pop (22 extra-base hits), and a strong batting eye (21:24 BB:K). He's small, but he'll make up for it with his speed and defense. He could be playing second base for the Cardinals by 2013 or 2014.
More Fantasy News
Pause particularly ill-timed
2BSt. Louis Cardinals
April 12, 2020
Wong, who hit .333 (7-for-21) across 10 Grapefruit League games, is one player for whom the suspension of spring training is particularly ill-timed, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
ANALYSIS
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Back in action
2BSt. Louis Cardinals
March 12, 2020
Wong (calf) will resume playing Thursday as expected, Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat reports.
ANALYSIS
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Expected to play Thursday
2BSt. Louis Cardinals
Calf
March 11, 2020
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Wong's bruised left calf is feeling better, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. The skipper expects the second baseman to return to the Grapefruit League lineup for Thursday's game against the Marlins.
ANALYSIS
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Nursing calf bruise
2BSt. Louis Cardinals
Calf
March 8, 2020
Wong was diagnosed with a left calf contusion after being hit by a pitch during Sunday's Grapefruit League game versus the Marlins, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Exits after HBP
2BSt. Louis Cardinals
Lower Leg
March 8, 2020
Wong left Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Marlins after being hit by a pitch in the lower leg, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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