After years of unrealized potential, St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong looks primed for a breakout season. True it’s still very early, but the early returns are very positive.
Wong’s slash line so far is an otherworldly .500/.550/1.056 with 3 HR and 2 SB in five games. His wRC+ is an astronomical 287. Granted, it’s a very small sample size and will begin to level off, but Wong is showing what he can do when playing confidently.
That confidence comes straight from the manager. Mike Shildt has put his full faith and trust in Wong and it has resulted in spectacular play. Wong has always been a streaky player, but this is easily the best streak of his career. Wong is at a level we have never seen him play at before.
Obviously it’s too early to get too excited. Wong cannot sustain a .545 BABIP or a .556 ISO. He’s also showing more aggressiveness at the plate as well. His walk rate through five games is right in line with career norms. His strikeout rate is up 5% though to a 20% K-rate. Kolten is taking more chances and it’s paying dividends so far. One has to wonder though how much is growth and how much is just dumb luck.
Either way, Kolten is finally showing the potential that everyone expected when the Cardinals selected him with their first round pick in 2011. At 28, he’s still in his prime and may be ready to break out and be the All-Star that he’s more than capable of becoming.
This performance isn’t anything new for Kolten, it’s just been inconsistent over the years. He’s carrying over from his second half 2018 that saw marked offensive improvement under manager Mike Shildt. If Wong can show that this is indeed a carryover from last season, then we are looking at an All-Star.
Keep up the good work Kolten. After all, chicks dig the Wong ball.
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