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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: KOLTEN WONG 2B ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Are we ready for a post-POST-hype sleeper made good?  Take a look at what St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong has done through the first week of games as he goes into Tuesday's action with 3 home runs, 2 steals, and .500 average in 20 at-bats.  While clearly an extremely small sample size, a quick trip down memory lane would bring back memories of Wong as a prime fantasy baseball sleeper who portrayed a very intriguing ability to both hit for power and also steal bases.  Unfortunately, Wong has taken his time finding his MLB legs as he battled injuries and extended slumps that had him being sent back to the minors a few times since first breaking in back in 2013.  Perhaps maybe Wong was rushed to the majors before he was ready and the resulting struggles were an indication of this.  Still, Wong has hinted at what he is doing now in the past; with him posting HR/SB campaigns of 12/20 in 2014, 11/15 in 2015, and even 9/9 in just over 400 at-bats in 2018.  Having turned 28 last October, Wong may finally be figuring things out and the power/speed game could be set to launch.  At the very least, he should be added in any league he is available based on the big start and also for some other indicators that point to good things happening in the future.

Now in terms of the advanced metrics, Wong checks out nicely here as he drew walks at a very good 10.0 BB/9 rate last season and also has mostly been a 15.0 to 20.0 K/9 guy as well.  Combine those two together and Wong has every right to be a good batting average hitter to go with the power/speed game.  With regards to the power/speed, Wong is just now entering into his prime years and so there should be no surprise that he is starting to hit more home runs and the steals should be able to hang on for another two seasons.  Combine everything together and Wong could be one of the more under-the-radar upside plays for all 2019 fantasy baseball based on the early indicators.  Like I noted earlier, pick up Wong where available as we could finally be seeing him blossom into the player we anticipated years ago.


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