Exit Interview: Kolten Wong

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Player: Kolten Wong

Season stats: 32 games, 62 PA, 6 R, 1 2B, 3 BB, 12 K, .153/.194/.169

Hero/Goat: Goat 1

Overall grade: C

Positives: Wong got to make his major league debut this season after being a hot prospect for a number of years.  He had a strong season in Memphis, hitting .303 with 10 homers and 20 steals before getting the callup.  Five of his nine hits came in back to back days against Milwaukee and he had three steals after his first five games, which had him threatening the team leaders.

Negatives: After those first five games, Wong only started five more the rest of the season.  The offense that the team expected him to provide, that jolt to the lineup, just wasn’t there.  Now, you could argue that as a player that is used to playing every day, he wasn’t well equipped to be a pinch-hitter/defensive replacement, but the numbers are pretty rough.  Plus there’s the sad fact that, to the casual fan, Wong’s going to be known as the guy that was picked off of first to end a World Series game with Carlos Beltran at the plate.  Not a moment you really want on your resume.

Outlook: With the trade of David Freese, there’s no doubt that Wong is going to be the regular second baseman of the club.  That means that the organization is still high on him and hopefully with regular work, we’ll see the form that had him rated so highly as he came up through the minor leagues.  While it’s not likely to be next year, Wong has a chance to develop into a capable leadoff man for the club.  We’ll have to see when he gets that chance.

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