The 2022 baseball season has ended for the Milwaukee Brewers. This year the Brew Crew failed to reach the post season, in which they were aiming for their fifth consecutive appearance. With the regular season ending, it is now a good time to start reflecting upon player performances.
Over the course of the off-season we will be handing out season grades for each player. To kick off the report card series, we will first take a look at Kolten Wong.
Kolten Wong 2022 Offensive Season Grade: B+
By the measures of wRC+ (116) and OPS+ (118), both of these advanced analytics suggest Kolten Wong had his best offensive season of his career in 2022. With each of these statistics, 100 represents a league average hitter. So essentially both fan graphs and baseball reference believe that Wong’s .251/.339/.430/.770, 15 home run, and 47 RBI season was the best he’s performed when compared to the rest of the league throughout his 10 year career.
Given that information, it is hard to grade Wong below an A on his report card. However, there are a few things worth mentioning that drop his letter grade. One being the fact that he lost the role as the Brewers lead off hitter due to him struggling at the plate. Wong was removed as the lead off hitter on June 8, in which at that time he had just a .228 batting average. He did find his groove at the plate during the second half of the season. His slash line post All-Star break was .282/.372/.490/.862.
Another thing worth mentioning is Wong’s performance against left-handed pitchers in 2022. Overall he hit just .138 with a .441 OPS against south paws. He was struggling enough in those match ups that Craig Counsell would often leave him out of the starting lineup or go to a pinch hitter. Throughout his career, Wong has handled left-handed match ups quite well, so perhaps 2022 was a fluke year in which his slow offensive start may have contributed as well.
Kolten Wong 2022 Defensive Season Grade: F
It is hard to know exactly what happened to Kolten Wong’s defense last year. He committed 17 errors on the season, which tied for the most in his career (2015). Nine of his errors came during the first half of the season. Of his eight second half errors, six came during the month of September.
Throughout various stretches in 2022 Wong did show flashes of his former gold glove self at second base. When he was asked about his defensive performance, in an interview with Curt Hogg, Wong indicated that he plans on going back and re-watching each error that he committed this past season. It appears that Wong is highly motivated to see what went wrong for him defensively so that he can return to form in 2023.
This off-season will be very interesting for Kolten Wong. The Milwaukee Brewers will control his fate for he has a $10MM club option for the 2023 season. If the Brewers decline the option, there is a $2MM buy out.