The St. Louis Cardinals announced this morning that they have reached agreement with second baseman Kolten Wong on a five-year contract (2016-2020) that also includes a club option for the 2021 season.
“Kolten provides an excellent example of our strategy to sign, develop and retain the best talent available,” said Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. “Kolten has had a nice start to his career and we look forward to having him be a key part of our future.”
“We are pleased to have Kolten signed for the next five years,” stated Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. “Kolten has already been a key part of several high-profile moments during his young career and we look forward to his continued growth and success as a member of this organization.”
Wong, 25, was the Cardinals 1st round draft choice in 2011 out of the University of Hawaii and made his Major League debut just two years later in 2013 as a member of the Cardinals National League Championship team.
The left-handed hitting Wong finished third in 2014 N.L. Rookie of the Year voting and he was the Cardinals Organizational Player of the Year in 2013. In 295 career games, Wong has posted a .250 batting average with 23 home runs, 103 RBI and 38 stolen bases.
In 2014, Wong’s three postseason home runs, including a walk-off shot against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the N.L. Championship Series, were the most by a rookie second baseman in M.L. history. Wong holds the Cardinals single-series postseason record for total bases by a second baseman (15 in 2014 NLCS) and each of his last nine postseason hits have gone for extra bases, tying Miguel Cabrera and Jayson Werth for the M.L. record.
After hitting 12 home runs in 2014 and 11 last season, Wong became the first Cardinals second baseman since Frankie Frisch (1927-28) to compile back-to-back seasons with 10 or more home runs. Wong ranked 3rd among N.L. second basemen in homers last season and 4th in RBI (61), while leading the majors second basemen with 312 putouts. His 31 defensive gems over the past two seasons are tops on the Cardinals and he led the team last season with 19 defensive highlight plays.
Wong led the Cardinals with 25 two-out RBI last season and hit 5 of his 11 home runs with two outs. He also led the team in hit by pitch (15) and finished 2nd in stolen bases (15). His team-high 20 stolen bases in 2014 were the most by a Cardinals player (Cesar Izturis, 24) since 2008.