Would Kolten Wong Be A Good Match For The Mariners?

Once we explored potential middle-infield trade targets for the Seattle Mariners, Kolten Wong of the Milwaukee Brewers wasn’t included. On the time, it was unclear whether or not Milwaukee would train its 2023 possibility on Wong. Since then, the membership retained the 32-year-old’s providers for subsequent 12 months. though this doesn’t assure he’ll be a Brewer on Opening Day.

The Brewers have two distinct selections concerning Wong. He might be the workforce’s beginning second baseman or be flipped in a commerce this offseason. As MLB insider Jon Morosi notes, the Mariners consider the second possibility is a chance.

Maybe what Morosi is listening to from his sources is nothing greater than the due diligence of a workforce trying to find a beginning second baseman. Then once more, we all know the Mariners’ most well-liked technique of buying major-league expertise is participant trades. Including gasoline to the recent range, Seattle Instances beat author Ryan Divish not too long ago reminded us Seattle was involved in signing the veteran after 2020. Apparently, economics bought in the way in which.

Because it’s very doable the Mariners are involved in buying Wong, we must always take into account how his skillset may probably assist the workforce in 2023. Let’s start with the good things.

Promoting factors: Wong’s offensive manufacturing in 2022 was considerably higher than what the Mariners acquired from their second basemen. Adam Frazier (460 plate appearances) was Seattle’s principal man with Abraham Toro (161 PA) serving as the first reserve. Dylan Moore (28 PA), Sam Haggerty (5 PA) and even catcher Luis Torrens (4 PA) spent a really transient period of time on the place.

Kolten Wong vs M’s Second Basemen in 2022

Past outperforming a lowly Mariners place group, Wong in contrast favorably to all MLB second baseman with 400-plus plate appearances this 12 months. The University of Hawaii product’s 116 wRC+ was seventh-best inside this peer group. For outdated schoolers, he additionally ranked ninth in OB and fifth in SLG.

Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) portions how a hitter’s whole offensive worth compares with the league common after adjusting for park results. League-average is all the time 100. Subsequently, a wRC+ of 150 means a hitter was 50-percent extra productive than the typical participant. An 80 wRC+ can be 20-percent under common.

During the last two seasons, Wong served because the Brewers’ leadoff hitter in 151 video games. If he have been a Mariner in 2022, his OBP would’ve tied shortstop J.P. Crawford for third-best amongst regulars. The Hawaii native’s SLG would’ve ranked fifth behind Ty France (.436). His 17 stolen bases have been solely bested by Julio Rodríguez (25) and Dylan Moore (21).

Potential considerations: Accidents have restricted Wong to 81.6% of his workforce’s video games for the reason that begin of 2018. In reality, he’s performed in 140-plus video games simply twice in his 10-year MLB profession – 2015 and 2019. This season, the 22nd overall pick of the 2011 draft appeared in 134 contests.

Days Misplaced To Accidents In Current Years
2022 – Calf harm (x2) – 33 days
2021 – Calf harm – 15 days
2021 – Indirect (x2) – 29 days
2018 – Hamstring – 8 days
2018 – Knee Irritation – 13 days
2017 – Triceps Pressure – 16 days
2017 – Elbow Pressure – 13 days
Supply: Spotrac

The left-handed hitting Wong didn’t fare notably properly when dealing with left-handed pitching this 12 months – 138 AVG/.266 OBP/.175 SLG in 96 plate appearances. When increase our view to the final two seasons, he was higher, however not nice (.239/.307/.353) throughout 242 plate appearances in opposition to southpaws.

Maybe that is being nitpicky. However Wong loved great success in opposition to the pitching staffs of the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, whereas being average-ish or worse in opposition to the remainder of the league in 2022. This caught my eye since practically 27% of his plate appearances have been in opposition to two groups rating within the bottom-four of MLB in runs allowed/recreation.

Wong Loved Dealing with The Reds & Pirates
vs Reds/Pirates (134 PA) – .328 AVG/.396 OBP/.595 SLG/173 wRC+
vs Everybody else ((363 PA) – .223 AVG/.319 OBP/.369 SLG/96 wRC+

On the sector, Wong’s defensive runs saved (DRS) dropped considerably in 2022. It could make sense if his calf subject contributed to this slide.

Wong’s 2B DRS In Current Seasons
2018 (13)
2019 (17)
2020 (5)
2021 (6)
2022 (-1)

Whereas we’re discussing Wong’s legs, his dash velocity additionally took successful in 2022. Once more, it might make a number of sense if his calf downside robbed him of velocity. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t overlook the actual fact we’re speaking about participant now on the mistaken facet of 30.

Wong’s Declining Dash Pace
2018 – 27.7 ft/sec
2019 – 27.7 ft/sec
2020 – 26.7 ft/sec
2021 – 26.7 ft/sec
2022 – 26 ft/sec

MLB common dash velocity = 27 ft/sec

Ideas: Contemplating Wong’s latest historical past of leg accidents and the actual fact he’ll be getting into his age-32 season in 2023, it’s affordable to wonder if we’re witnessing the start of his age-related regression. These elements are notably essential presently since subsequent 12 months’s ban of infield shifts will place a larger significance on the defensive vary of second baseman.

If Wong had been included in our authentic dialog concerning middle-infield trade targets, my order of choice for the Mariners would’ve been Willy Adames, Jorge Polanco, Jeff McNeil, Jake Cronenworth, Wong, and Brandon Lowe. To me, including a participant displaying the preliminary indicators of decline doesn’t make sense for a workforce eager to go deeper within the 2023 postseason that it did this 12 months.

There’s a good probability Wong outperforms this 12 months’s group of Mariners second basemen in 2023 – that’s at a low bar to recover from. However will his offensive manufacturing and second base protection be ok for a workforce with World Sequence aspirations?

I’ve my doubts.

My Oh My…

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Luke Arkins

Luke is a local New Yorker, who grew up as a Mets fan. After the US Navy moved him to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, he determined to make Seattle his residence.

In 2014, Luke joined the Prospect Insider workforce. Throughout baseball season, he can usually be discovered observing the native workforce at T-Cellular Park.

You may observe Luke on Twitter @luke_arkins

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