During the 2015-16 Offseason, the Cardinals Established Second Base as One of the Deepest Positions on the Roster
After the Cardinals ended the 2015 season with a sour taste in their mouths, General Manager John Mozeliak immediately transitioned to working on improving the roster. In his planning, Mozeliak had to make sure that the Cardinals were well-positioned for success in the short term as well as the long haul. At second base, Mozeliak was able to significantly improve both outlooks.
First, Mozeliak traded away Jon Jay to the San Diego Padres for Jedd Gyorko and some cash. In Gyorko, Mozeliak added immediate infield depth for the Cardinals while also adding some power to the club and a second baseman who has been around the block a little. At his best, Gyorko hits around .250 while hovering around 20 home runs and 60 RBIs. The power comes with a price, however, as Gyorko is considered to be a below average second baseman or shortstop defensively.
— MLB Mostly (@MLBmostly) March 26, 2016
Second, Mozeliak signed Kolten Wong to a five-year extension right before Spring Training games began, ensuring that Wong will stay in a Cardinals uniform at least through the 2020 season. With Wong locked up, Redbirds fans should be confident that the second base position is in good hands for a long time to come.
Wong has played less than three seasons with the Cardinals, but he has steadily improved from year-to-year. His batting average has gone up from .153 in 2013 (limited playing time) to .262 in 2015. Also, Wong has become a much more patient hitter at the plate, increasing his walks totals from 21 in 2014 to 36 in 2015.
Another key factor in the Cardinals’ decision to extend Wong is that he has proven to be a very durable player thus far, playing the 2nd most games in Major League Baseball last season for second basemen. Wong tends to commit a fair amount of errors during the season, but he also gets a ton of putouts (312, most in MLB as a second baseman).
Whenever Kolten Wong makes an error just remember this pic.twitter.com/tVptOY29Lz
— The Cardinal Way (@STL_Cards_nut) March 26, 2016
Wong definitely has the potential to be an All-Star player, but right now he’s still growing into his own. While he continues his development, the Cardinals can throw Gyorko into the mix. The two actually have similar amounts of playing time in the MLB. It will definitely be interesting to see how Mike Matheny manages with Gyorko and Wong on the roster this year, but my guess is that Wong is in line for a breakout season and Gyorko will add some home runs off the bench or start at shortstop over Ruben Tejada.