Kolten Wong: New And Improved?

Man, I’m getting dizzy.

The Cardinals have been on a roller coaster all season long, struggling with inconsistency. Just when it looked like we had found some momentum (thank you Rally Cat!) we follow up our winning streak with a three game losing streak. Fun. (Not really.)

Focusing on the positives, one thing I, and others I’m sure, have noticed is the turnaround of Kolten Wong.

In 252 AB’s, (which admittedly is a bit of a small sample size) Wong has hit .310 this season with a pair of homers. He still has a solid .448 Slugging Percentage, or SLG,  though, thanks to having smacked 23 doubles (and 3 triples).

My favorite stat, though, is his .398 OBP. The man is getting on base and a nice clip, creating opportunities for people behind him.

His plate discipline is actually similar to what it was last year. He hit .240 then, with a .327 OBP, an 87 point difference, only one less than this years 88 point difference.

The key then has been getting more hits. Indeed, the .310 average is easily a career high. He hasn’t come close to .300 before in fact, as his best average before this was .262. The question is whether that is sustainable or not.

Looking at his Batting Average on Balls in Play, or BABIP, I begin to wonder.

Before this year, his career high BABIP was .296 in 2014, the best year of his career so far, until this season. Currently, he has a .360 BABIP for 2017.

Given his past performance, that BABIP seems unsustainable, or at least it would if Wong were older. He is still just 26, after all, just entering his prime. He could, in fact, be making “the leap” that players sometimes make after they’ve gotten some big league experience under their belt. That, of course, is an optimistic viewpoint, but when has a little optimism hurt anybody?

Time will tell, of course, but here’s hoping I’m right, and the new and improved Wong becomes the Wong we see for the rest of his career.

 

As always, thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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