St. Louis Cardinals: The Trade Value Of Kolten Wong


The St. Louis Cardinals are receiving calls about 2B Kolten Wong.  Recent rumors have linked the 26 year old as a major name in a possible trade to the Royals.

Rumors are rumors, but Kolten Wong does provide value to teams.  He is a former first-round pick in 2011, and was considered to be a top 100 prospect in the seasons following his selection.  He has not quite lived up to the hype, but is still young and can reach the potential that the St. Louis Cardinals saw in him.

Wong is possibly the best defender on the St. Louis Cardinals, but his bat has not come around like the organization had hoped.  He was sent down to Triple-A last year because of a massive slump, ending the season hitting .240.  The poor hitting performance dropped his WAR to 1.5 last season.

In 2014, Wong finished third in Rookie of the Year voting as the starting second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals.  He had a hot start and earned Rookie of the Month in May of that year then hit a slump mid season.   That season finished with Wong slashing .249/.292/.388.  Part of that season involved a shoulder injury.

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Though his hitting was down, Wong posted the highest UZR of his career in 2016 at 4.5.  A lot of the value teams are seeing in the former first round pick is his defense and his base running ability.  We all remember him getting picked off during Game Four of the 2013 World Series, but for his career he has a seventy-nine percent success rate when stealing bases.

The biggest rumors about Wong have been coming with the talks with the Royals.  There are many different ideas of what the trade would be, but in every rumor there is Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis, and Wong.

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Kansas City will most likely use Wong to start at second over Whit Merrifield.  The other possibility is to use Wong in the outfield to split time with Paulo Orlando if Jarrod Dyson is moved.  The outfield is where Wong played during his time at Hawaii.

Should the St. Louis Cardinals deal Wong away, they would start Jedd Gyorko to start at second, with Matt Carpenter most likely moving over to second to play a few games if needed.  This would put Matt Adams at first.  With a lot of young prospects on the infield, Wong looks to be expendable for the right price.

Delvin Perez, Edmundo Sosa, and Allen Cordoba are all top 20 prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals organization that can play middle infield.  There is also 19-year-old Bryce Denton who can be transitioned from third if necessary.

Another aspect of Wong that other teams would find attractive is player control.  He recently signed an extension through 2020 worth 25.5 miliion, with an option for 2021 worth 12.5 million.  While a player like Cain is a one-year rental with possibility of extension, Wong is guaranteed for a few seasons.

Next: Accept The Cain/Davis Trade

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has publically stated confidence that Wong’s bat will come around.  It is just a question of when, and if the St. Louis Cardinals are willing to wait for it.