When word leaked out that former St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong was headed to a team in the same division, it elicited messages of good will — from a former teammate and those who covered him.
Wong, it appears, is one of the good guys in the game (not to mention a decent hitter and excellent fielder).
Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, Wong’s teammate since the second sacker’s rookie season in 2013 and often the beneficiary of his defense, went to Twitter on Wednesday evening to offer his well wishes. In his reply, Wong thanked Wainwright and also kidded him not to “start me with that first pitch curve you know I’m gonna be looking for it 😂”
Thank you brotha! It’s was a true pleasure to play and learn from you! Truly humbled but don’t start me with that first pitch curve you know I’m gonna be looking for it 😂
— Kolten Wong (@KoltenWong) February 4, 2021
It wasn’t just Wainwright who will miss Wong in St. Louis. A couple of reporters took to social media as well to expound on the good character of Wong.
Glad @KoltenWong is going to stick around the division but will miss covering him and watching him play. Always a straight shooter. Very few keep it that real. Also probably at least tied for first in autographs signed for fans over the years. Brewers got better today.
— Ben Frederickson (@Ben_Fred) February 3, 2021
— Benjamin Hochman (@hochman) February 3, 2021
Beyond his likeable nature, the Brewers are getting a darn good second baseman in Wong, who will reportedly sign a two-year contract with an option, as well. In 852 career contests, he’s slashed .261/.333/.384 with 124 doubles and 53 home runs. Over the last two campaigns, Wong has appeared in 201 contests and logged a .279/.358/.396 slash line with 29 doubles, 12 home runs and 29 stolen bases. That adds up to a 102 OPS+.
Wong won a Gold Glove in 2019 and ‘20 for his work at second base. He tallied 25 defensive runs saved over the last two seasons, the most among second basemen in that span. Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies ranked second with 10 DRS.
The move means Keston Hiura, who started 128 games at second base for the Brewers from 2019-20, will be looking for a new position in 2021, most likely at first base.