ST. LOUIS – It was a disappointing year for Kolten Wong last season in St. Louis, especially on offense. The organization knows it, and Wong knows it.
In 121 games played, Wong’s .240 BA, 7 SB, 23 RBI and 75 H were all the lowest totals since he broke into the league in 2013. His 313 official AB were down from 557 in 2015, and Wong was forced to spend time in Memphis for much of 2016, re-gathering his swing and suring up much of the inconsistency in his play. He never did find the traction he was looking for.
The Cardinals missed the postseason in 2016 for the first time since 2010 in part because of their defensive woes, and it was no surprise that the organization entered the offseason last October, and now spring training, with a clear focus on athleticism and defensive depth. Kolten Wong figures to add into that equation in a large capacity this year as an everyday staple in the lineup at second base. He committed 8 errors last season at the position.
Even with less at bats, Wong had a .327 OBP a season ago in St. Louis, his best in 4 years. Along with new addition Dexter Fowler, and returning members such as Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, and Matt Carpenter, the Cardinals expect to improve their on-base numbers this year. Wong will play a role in helping the team achieve that goal.
Now 26 years of age, Wong signed a 5-year contract extension worth $25.5 million last year, with a club option in 2021. There is clear indication that the organization feels Wong is a key factor to the team’s success moving forward. It will be up to Wong to make that happen, and it will start in this year’s campaign.