BLUF: Little second baseman that can hit and has solid overall potential.
The Player: Kolten Wong (2B, St. Louis Cardinals) – A first round pick in 2011, Wong hit .335/.401/.510 in his 47-game debut at the Low-A level. During that stretch he knocked 15 doubles, two triples and five home runs while walking nearly as much as he struck out. Promoted all the way to Double-A this year, he finished with a .287/.348/.405 line in 126 games with 38 extra-base hits and 21 steals.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (5-9, 190): Small frame, good strength, above-average athlete. Good physical conditioning and more strength than his size suggests.
Hit: Small strike zone and good approach allows him to work deep into counts and find pitches he can barrel. Good bat-to-ball skills. Adjusts to different pitch types with ease. Will occasionally get out front on CH thanks to slightly exaggerated leg kick, but handles FB and breaking ball very well. Handles velocity. Quick hands and good bat speed. Shows ability to spray ball to all fields, line drive machine. Plus potential with additional game experience and adjustment to big-league caliber secondary stuff. Very little polishing required, nearly mature hit tool. Grade – 50/60
Power: Sprays line drives with ability to get it into the gaps but lacks legitimate power. May approach 8-10 home runs in big leagues. Should also contribute 20+ doubles and a handful of triples. Not a significant part of his game but not completely lacking either. May take some time to manifest in big-leagues so initial power output may be in 30-grade range. Grade (raw power) – 40/40
Arm: Good arm for second base. Can make throws on the run with zip. Shows ability to make throws from deep behind second base and on the pivot. Generally above-average arm with frequently plus grades for the position. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Very good defensive second baseman. Has first-step quickness that enhances above-average range. Can show range to both glove side and behind the bag. Very nice hands. Excellent instincts for the position. Heady player. High-quality defender with plus ability. Already very polished. Grade – 60/60
Speed: Decent but not great runner. Doesn’t get out of the box well but shows average to solid-average speed to first once underway. Runs hard and gets aggressive on the bases. Average speed plays up in the field because of instincts first-step quickness. Average run that should be sustained long term. Grade – 50/50
Summation: Solid all-around player. Only really lacking power for complete compliment of tools. Hitting ability is standout tool with potential to hit .280-.285 with high contact rates and average walk rates. Should fit nicely as a number two hitter with gap power and an aggressive style of play. Heady, instinctual player in all phases. “Gets it.” Offensive approach continues to improve as he adjusts to more advanced pitching. Not a significant stolen base or power threat but will chip in with both throughout season; possibly picking up 20 doubles, 8-10 home runs and 10-15 steals. Defense is plus with good range, good hands and an early understanding of positioning. Arm plays at plus level. Very good overall defensive profile. Solid all-around player that relies on hit tool to carry the profile. Should be a quality Major League player for an extended period of time.
Relative Risk: Low. Polished hitter that is adjusting quickly; well-rounded skill set; success at upper levels.
Future: Could impact the big league club late in 2013 and should cement himself as a solid everyday player by 2014. Needs limited polish at the plate as he gains exposure to more advanced pitching but should be ready quickly.