We knew him when: Kolten Wong
With the amount of contributions from rookies the Cardinals are getting, I suppose we could stay with them throughout the rest of their run. Given Kolten Wong’s ninth-inning heroics in Game 2, and the fact that we’ve spoken with the rookie second baseman a TON since his draft year in 2011, he was the obvious choice. Let’s take a look:
- It started with a pre-Draft story on Wong, who was coming out of the University of Hawaii and ready to show that his size really didn’t matter.
- He had a huge junior season with the bat and we ranked him No. 25 on the Draft Top 50 in 2011.
- Wong really wanted to attend the Draft in 2011, but a family illness kept him from making the long trip to MLB Network. Instead, he joined the broadcast via phone:
- He had a huge first full season in the Minors, going straight to Double-A and spending the whole season there. He was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game. We spoke to him when he first arrived:
- And he was mic’ed up during the Futures Game itself:
- At the end of that first full season, Wong was ranked No. 49 on our Top 100 went to the Arizona Fall League. He was the focus of our AFL Team Report for the Cardinals:
- He performed well in the AFL, not surprisingly, and I named him the No. 9 prospect in the Fall League that season.
- In January before the 2013 season, Wong attended the Rookie Career Development Program:
- He was No. 50 on the Top 100 prospects list at the end of the 2013 season.
- Heading into the 2014 season, Wong had his sights set on a starting gig for Opening Day.
- We talked to him, along with prospect Stephen Piscotty, about focusing during Spring Training:
- I got to write about the second baseman one last time recently, as he was my pick in a Pipeline Perspectives that debated the question: Which prospect/rookie will have the largest impact in September and October? I went with Wong, while Jim went with Yordano Ventura. Guess we were both right: