St. Louis Cardinals: Two of our writers debate Kolten Wong
By Trevor Hooth
Larry, I see it irrelevant that the injuries are unrelated. It will be worrisome to teams that there were back-to-back injuries in general. A team will not want to trade for an everyday 2B, only to have him get injured again. The back-to-back injuries will make other teams question his durability. That is a huge issue for him in the trade market.
You talk about Wong being on base in front of pitchers who hit well, but that is not a reason to add to his trade value. He will become a completely stranded runner if the gets intentionally walked in front of a pitching corps that can’t hit. Which is a lot of them. So with no guarantee of him being able to move over (unless he gets sent to the AL) then he can IBB all he wants and it won’t matter.
While Wong has been a great fielder in the past, posting an exceptional 4.5 UZR last season, he is not showing up with the leather this year. This year he has a UZR of -2.5.
I know he is young but he has taken steps backward this year. Which happens on the way up. But there is not a confidence to guarantee the glove will continue to progress. Going from a fielding percentage of .980 in 2016 to .964 in 2017 doesn’t help his case for trade.
The biggest problem facing Wong is that his year this is year is the best of his career. He has a body of work so far that says this is not something other teams can expect. He has not proven himself to be a reliable everyday 2B throughout his total career.
While this year he may be starting to, he is not yet established. That is keeping his price tag low, too low for the St. Louis Cardinals to find any real value to get in return from another team.