The question asked to both Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo was: Which prospect/rookie will have the largest impact in September and October? Their only requirement was that a player began the season as a prospect on their Top 100 Prospects lists.
While Callis went with an American League pitcher, Mayo selected Wong as the rookie to have an impact in the closing weeks of the 2014 season.
"Just playing every day isn’t enough, clearly, but Wong has been playing his best baseball of the season right now. In his first eight September games, the 2011 first-round pick has hit .346 and slugged .538. In those eight games, the Cardinals have gone 7-1 and pulled away in the National League Central. Coincidence? I think not."
Wong has been rather impressive since his return from the DL. For Cardinals fans, this is certainly no surprise. Mayo notes just how productive the second baseman has been since being allowed to let his shoulder heal.
"Really, since returning from the disabled list and allowing his shoulder to heal in early July, Wong has been a very productive part of the Cards’ offense. The University of Hawaii product has hit .279 and slugged .480 since he came back, with 10 of his 11 home runs coming in the 216 plate appearances he had in July, August and those first eight games of September. He’s also stolen 11 bases, in 12 attempts, in that time frame. Wong has stolen 20 in 22 attempts this season, all while solidifying second base defensively."
If not for outfielder Jon Jay, there’s no doubt that Kolten Wong could easily bat in the 2-hole of the Cardinals lineup.
"Big leaguers have used his ability to make hard contact on pitches outside the strike zone against him by getting him to chase more than he should, but once he settles down, he could develop into a future batting champion capable of providing 20-plus homers per season."
I look forward to seeing great things from Wong and Taveras for many years to come.