25. Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
Wong could debut in 2013
Wong, a University of Hawaii product, has quickly risen to the top of second base prospect lists after his first full season with Double-A Springfield last year. He impressed by hitting .335 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in just 194 at-bats (47 games) at Single-A Quad Cities after being drafted 22nd overall in 2011. Wong followed that up with a slash line of .287/.348/.405 with nine home runs, 52 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 523 at-bats at Springfield.
The 22-year-old left college with polished plate skills from the left side of the box. He boasts surprising power for his stature (5-foot-9, 190 pounds) thanks to a short, compact left-handed stroke. His short swing has also kept his strikeout totals down, and a solid and disciplined batting eye will work in his favor to generate free passes when moving to the next level. Perhaps his biggest weakness is his lack of high-level defensive prowess and average speed. Wong's 21 thefts last year may be on the high end of what we'll see down the road in the stolen base department.
At the end of the day, Wong looks to be the Redbirds' long-term solution at the keystone, and he could wind up in the discussion as the starter by 2014. A combination of Daniel Descalso and the transitioning Matt Carpenter will hold down the fort in the meantime, but neither of those players should prevent Wong from bursting onto the scene when he's ready. We could see Wong enter the picture at some point this season - most likely late in the year - if an injury or poor performance befalls Descalso or Carpenter.
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Top fantasy baseball prospects - NL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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