The season is only a couple of weeks old, but I thought I’d look at some interesting things that have happened so far. Today we’ll start with Kolten Wong.
Heading into this season, Wong had a career average of .256 with a career .327 OBP, and was coming off a season in 2018 where he hit just .249 and got on at a .332 clip, while hitting nine homers. This year, however, he’s hitting .298 with a .424 OBP and has four homers already.
Will the real Kolten Wong please stand up?
Wong has never been a power hitter, with his career high being 12, so the four homers are a pleasant surprise but also the easiest thing to dismiss. The average however is interesting, as he has shown signs of hitting for a solid BA in the past, hitting .285 in 2017. Before that however, his career high was .262. The potential was there, but he had never realized it. Is he starting to now, at age 28? He’s had some injuries in the past, so maybe that slowed him down. I hope he is realizing that potential, as it’d be nice to have another .300 hitter in the lineup.
As for the OBP, .424 is obviously very high, and is .126 points above his batting average, but if you look at his history, he’s always had a solid eye. The career .327 OBP is 71 points higher than his career average which isn’t bad. Plus, in 2016 he had an OBP 87 points higher than his BA (.327 to .240) and in 2017 he had one 91 points higher (.376 to .285) so if anything this is merely continuing a career trend of solid plate discipline that is slowly getting better, a good sign for his future performance.
While the early results are great, and I’d love another .300 hitter as I said, I expect Wong to cool down. I think he will be a better hitter than he was last year by quite a bit though. I think an average in the high .270’s, low 280’s with an OBP a hundred points higher than the average is possible and will certainly be welcome in the lineup.
As always thanks for reading.