Our 2021 Season Report Cards Continue. Today, we’re taking a look at one of our infielders and his Gold Glove worthy season, Kolten Wong.
Having Kolten Wong come to Milwaukee was probably one of the greatest decisions on David Stearns’ part.
Wong was signed to a two-year, $18M contract with a third-year club option in February. Adding another strong hitter to our lineup was crucial, especially with Christian Yelich not performing at his best, and other players weren’t that great, either.
Offensive Grade: A-
Our infield definitely was struggling, and we were lacking the bats. In eight seasons with the Cardinals, he primarily hit leadoff. Upon coming to Milwaukee, Wong saw himself in that role once again. As the Cards’ leadoff man, he was posting a .350 OBP (Interestingly enough, his OBP has been .350 or higher in the last four seasons).
Wong did miss some games this season due to trips on the IL with oblique issues. But when he came back, he dominated. He finished the 2021 season with a slashline of .272/.335/.447 with an OPS of .783. The second baseman also had 14 homeruns, drove in 50, stole 12 bases in 116 games. Wong had a career high with his 14 homers and doubles at 32. Additionally, he provided seven leadoff home run in 2021 for the crew, and got on base pretty frequently.
Within the postseason, Kolten Wong played in four games. In 17 plate appearances, he had a slashline of .067/.176/.067 with no home-runs, and no RBIs. It was a rough postseason for the entire Milwaukee Brewers team to say the least, but for Kolten Wong, it wasn’t the postseason that would be labeled as ‘ideal’.
Defensive Grade: A
It really came as a shock when Kolten Wong was robbed of his third consecutive Gold Glove this year. Statistically, it was clear that Wong was more deserving of the glove over his former teammate Tommy Edman, but the voters just decided to go another direction. Also speaking from a stat perspective, Wong had an UZR of 4.7, a UZR/150 of 5.6, a Revised Zone Rating of .799, and Range Runs Above Average was at 1.7.
To add to the Gold Glove worthy season, Wong only had two errors tacked on him, 51 double plays (20 DPS, 31 DPT), and a FP of .982. He also had 229 assists and 164 putouts, respectively.
The Brewers’ defense really got their spark when they added both Kolten Wong and Willy Adames. Those two provided a lot of energy and defensive production that they were lacking.
Overall Grade: A
But, in focusing on Wong, he brought a lot that the Brewers had been looking for in an infielder. Strong bat, strong defender, ready to battle. It was a shame that we didn’t get to see the Brewers go past the first round in the playoffs; The power would’ve been amazing. However, we still have Wong for one more contracted year, let’s hope this one brings him the Gold Glove he rightfully deserves.