Mock Drafts Have All Signs Pointing to Rockies Drafting Wong
Since the last addition to The Dusty Trail, more and more websites and news organizations are thinking that the Rockies’ will be taking University of Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong with their pick, 20th overall, in the first round of Monday’s MLB First-Year Player draft.* With this development I’ve decided to dig a little deeper on the type of player Wong is.
By all accounts Wong is a fantastic hitter that projects extremely well to the Major League level. In his first two seasons of college ball at Hawaii he hit .341 and .357 respectively and followed that up by hitting an amazing .378 in 2011. With Troy Tulowitzki as the franchise shortstop for the Rockies, snagging a solid hitting second baseman to hit before him in the lineup and get on base often would seemingly be a perfect fit.
Although he’s just 5-foot-9-inches tall and weighs 190 pounds, Wong also has a good amount of power. Batting lefty, Wong hit seven homeruns last season and has tallied 25 in his three-year career at Hawaii. He hits for average, gets on base and has some power; all things that any team would love to have, especially at second base in the National League.
Wong can obviously hit well, but where he provides his real value is with how difficult it is to get him out. Wong struck out just 63 times in his college baseball career in 684 at-bats and, in his college career, has never had an on-base percentage below .416. He finished up the 2011 season with an astounding .492 on-base percentage.
He was previously drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 2008, in the 16th round, but decided to stay home and it looks as though the decision worked out. He’s tallied an impressive list of achievements and awards in his three seasons with the Warriors and has boosted his draft stock well.
Recent mock drafts also have the Rockies potentially taking University of Utah first baseman C.J. Cron. It is widely thought that the Oakland Athletics, who have the 18th pick in the first round, will take Cron, but were he to fall the Rockies would have a tough decision to make. Cron has put together a very impressive body of work at Utah, especially in 2011. He batted .434 in 49 games, hitting 15 homeruns and 59 runs batted in. In his three year career with the Utes, Cron has hit 46 homeruns and has 198 runs batted in.
At 6-foot-4-inches tall and weighing in at a solid 230 pounds, Cron is one of the more powerful bats available in the 2011 draft and is expected to go in the mid-first round. He played most of his first two seasons at Utah behind the plate, but once some knee problems arose they moved him to first base. So far it has been a successful transition for Cron, as he had a .992 fielding percentage last season.
Then again, these drafts can be unpredictable and the Rockies could end up taking neither Cron nor Wong. Either way, it seems as though the 2011 MLB First-Player Draft is full of solid first-round talent. Whoever the Rockies take could potentially be one of the final pieces added to a roster already featuring young and exciting players such as Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler. Here’s hoping whoever the Rockies take spends a little time in the Tri-Cities.
*Mock Drafts (as of 6/2) that have the Rockies’ taking Wong with 20th pick in draft-