For the past few years, the Cardinals’ Hawaiian native has been heralded as the second basemen of the future. But there is one problem with that: He isn’t played like one.
Kolten Wong has a lot of potential. The Cardinals former first round draft pick has the bat speed to hit 20 or more HRs. He has the leg speed to steal 20 or more bases. He has the contact ability to hit for a high average. By all indications, Wong has all the tools to be one of the best second basemen in the game. But he is not treated like that.
He is randomly sat for no apparent reason. Manager Mike Matheny loves to play match ups (even when they do not work), so when a lefty is on the mound against the Cardinals, Wong just should not even come to the ball park. But recently, Matheny has sat Wong against rightys too. He says it is not due to punishment but it sure seems that way. I know Jedd Gyorko had a good game yesterday, but we should not be seeing him start more than once or twice a week.
The main problem with Wong is that he presses too much. He simply tries too hard to prove himself. You have to sometimes give the guy credit but when you try to hit the ball over the fence every at bat, the effort may not be all that it is cracked up to be. Just putting the ball in play can sometimes be the best thing for a player, especially a player with Wong’s speed. Any ball weakly hit in the infield could result in a base hit.
— STLCards SPORTalk (@SPORTalkCards) April 10, 2016
But this is all-out approach that Wong has is not due to his own nature. Well, I am sure it partly is. But how would you like it if you never knew that your job was secure? What would you do if you were constantly being replaced by a lesser player I am sure you would start to press as much as possible to prove yourself in order to secure your spot on the team.
The only way for a young player like Wong to grow is to know that even if you go 0-5 on the day or make an error in the field, you still have a place in the lineup the next day. Wong does not have this sense of security causing him to put more pressure on himself which causes him to play worse than he should actually. This then gives Matheny the excuse to “Mathenage” out of the lineup. This needs to stop in order for Wong to reach his full potential
Wong has all of all of the tools to be apart of the new core the Cardinals so desperately need.
It is time to leave Kolten Wong alone.
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