Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball Free Agents: Kolten Wong

Kolten Wong is not the first player you think of when looking for a second baseman to fill your middle infield spot. He was significantly overlooked in this year’s drafts.

Make no mistake, now that the 2014 season is underway, Kolten Wong can help your team in a big way.

The left-hander only had 62 regular season at-bats for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013. During his audition last season his statistics did not inspire a lot of confidence in fantasy owners. He posted a .153/.194/.169 line of mediocrity.

The sample size was very small and it was nowhere near the kind of statistics he put up at Triple-A Memphis before he was called up.

He posted a .303/.369/.466 line in 463 plate appearances at Memphis, cementing his call up to St. Louis. He is a very good contact hitter with some pop in his bat. Like most hitters who are less than six feet tall, he possesses a short compact swing that is designed to hit the gaps rather than built for pure power.

Wong hit 10 homeruns at Memphis and you can expect him to hit double-digit homeruns in the 10-1414 range once he gets established in St. Louis. His gap power would play very well in a league that includes extra base hits as a statistic.

He is also a very savvy and efficient base stealer, stealing 20 bases in 21 attempts at Memphis in 2013. He went 3 for 3 during his call up in St. Louis. He is not a middle infielder that possesses large amounts of speed, but he is capable of putting up stolen base totals that are very good when compared to his peers at a shallow position.

The big question is how much playing time he gets at second base this season. The Cardinals signed 37-year-old Mark Ellis to provide depth at second base.

I don’t foresee a platoon situation in St. Louis. Kolten Wong is the future of the Cardinals at second base. Manager Mike Matheny is going to install him as the starter at second base in the early going as long as he keeps his head above water.

Mark Ellis will see at bats against left handed pitching in certain situations and Kolten Wong will get the majority of at bats the rest of the way. It wouldn’t surprise me if you see Ellis and Wong in the lineup at the same time during the season. St. Louis is an unconventional team who likes to mix and match lineups especially in interleague play.

Kolten Wong will not win you any fantasy baseball championships single handedly but he can be an excellent contributor to a well-rounded team. He is available on most waiver wires right now and if he is available in your league, you absolutely need to pick him up.

He is a much better option with upside than the majority of middle infielders who you can grab off of the wire at a very shallow position.

Tags: 2B Kolten Wong Middle Infield MLB St. Louis Cardinals

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