The Forgotten Infielder…

Morning all, been a while. Working on fixing that.

Anyways, as I was trying to come up with an idea for today’s post, I tried to think of something or somebody going under the radar due to being overshadowed or having a disappointing year.

The answer came to me quickly: Kolten Wong.

Due to the emergence of Aledmys Diaz and the pending return of Jhonny Peralta, all the talk that I’ve seen (and I admittedly don’t read the Post-Dispatch as much as others so I may have missed a few stories) has focused on our shortstop position.

Compared to last year, OPS wise, Wong isn’t having as good of a year. He has a .656 OPS (.333 OBP + .323 SLG) this year compared to a .707 OPS (.321 OBP + .386 SLG) last year. His average is also down .15 points, from .262 to .247.

Within those numbers though, lie a few slivers of hope:

1) Despite the drop on batting average, his OBP has *increased* over last years, by .012 points. The .086 point differential between the average and the OBP is nice, and is due to him having 10 walks in 108 plate appearances so far. That projects to about 60 in 600 PA’s. That may not seem like alot, but he only walked 36 times last year, so it would be a marked improvement. I realize it is still early (both in the season and in his career) but it is a promising sign. The more pitches he sees, the more likely he is to make something happen.

2) He had 28 doubles, 4 triples and 11 homers last year. Not a huge amount of pop, but quite a bot more than the one homer, two triples and 0 doubles so far this year. The doubles especially stand out to me as an aberration. Going into this season, I thought he’d hit more of those, not less, and end up with 30 or more. Given time, I think this will right itself (especially since he’s seeing more pitchers per plate appearance, it’s up to 4.18 compared to 3.72 last year, and 3.76 in his rookie year). Wong won’t have a SLG lower than his OBP for the entire season. Given time, he’ll start smacking some doubles (and a few homers) and we’ll see that SLG climb.

Even with the drop in slugging percentage, I think Wong is heading in the right direction. He still strikes out a bit (20 K’s so far, projecting to about 100 for the season) but that’s not a dramatic increase over the 95 he had last year. And remember, he’s still just 25, which is relatively young for baseball players not named Bryce Harper.

Quick Hits:

1) Forget a jersey from a World Series game, how about buying one from a clubhouse fight? Here you go.

2) How’s this for a wild pitch?

3) Ahh, the old hidden ball trick. Almost

 

As always, thanks for reading.

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