(BaseballSTL) -- No one ever wants to get sent down to the minors. No one. Not an established veteran nor a 24-year old rookie who has just been given the chance of a lifetime at the big league level. But when one is demoted to AAA and told to figure out your swing, one only has a single option.
Get right. Then get back.
It looks like Kolten Wong did just that. In the eight games the 23-year old has played since returning from Memphis on May 16th, the 2nd baseman has hit .364 with a .432 on-base percentage. A quarter of Wong’s hits have gone for extra bases and he’s stolen four bags as well.
His batting average has spiked from .225 to .269 since the recall.
More importantly, he’s swinging with confidence. He’s having fun. He’s playing like he – and the rest of the organization – knows he can.
This is critical for the Cardinals. For a team that is 21st in Major League Baseball in runs scored (197), 26th in slugging percentage (.367) and 29th in home runs (26) any offense they can get is a bonus. Look, the Cardinals can hit. They’re in the top 10 in baseball with a .256 team batting average. The problem is there’s very little pop for some reason.
Matt Holliday has just a pair of home runs. Matt Adams has three. Allen Craig has four.
So if this Redbirds offense isn’t going to thrive by hitting the ball out of the park and be a station-to-station team then depth is necessary. 1-8 has to hit. There’s no room for someone to be a major liability in the everyday lineup.
And when Kolten Wong is in his own head and worrying about failure that’s exactly what he becomes. A liability.
But when the former first round pick just plays his game and has fun? He’s not just an asset. He’s a future All Star.
It remains to be seen whether Wong can keep up this level of production for a full Major League season. It remains to be seen where he’ll even hit in the lineup. But it certainly looks like getting sent back to AAA for a few weeks was just what the doctor ordered to spark a very important piece in this Cardinals offense.