Hot Rod of the Day 4/20/14: Kean Wong


The Bowling Green Hot Rods continue to make negative history, as their losing streak has now reached 13 games, and is two games away from matching a Midwest League record. It looked promising for 9 innings, as the Hot Rods pitching kept the Clinton LumberKings just at one run (but the Hot Rod offense could only muster one of their own). But in the top of the 10th inning, Clinton laid it on the Hot Rods, putting up an 8 spot in the frame to take the game 9-1.

As odd as it might sound, there were a couple of good candidates for today’s Hot Rod of the Day, but I decided to go with Kean Wong, our second two-time honoree, as well as our second in a row. Last night, Wong went 3-for-5 with a single, double (his first of the season) and triple (his second of the year).

Wong came to the Rays organization, as we said last time, from Hawaii, and followed in his brother’s footsteps to professional baseball after he, Kolten Wong, was drafted by the Cardinals with their 2011 first round pick. However, when Kean was drafted, some scouts noted that he might actually be bigger and stronger than his older brother (now with the big league club).

Since he has been drafted, Wong has been noted for his patience and skill at the plate, and he finished his senior year of high school hitting .435 with a .563 on base percentage, as well as driving in 26 runs. He has only delivered more of the same as a professional, hitting .328 in the Gulf Coast League and hitting .333 to begin the season for the Hot Rods. Scouts also said that second base, the position he was drafted as and is currently playing in Bowing Green, might not actually be his best position, but third base. No matter where Kean Wong ends up defensively, if he keeps hitting like this, the Rays will find a spot for him.

It took Kolten three years in the Cards’ organization, one year at each level, before he reached the show, but he did that as a college player and could not make the major leagues until he was nearly 23 years old. Kean just turned 19, and if he has more power and size than Kolten does, he could easily beat his brother to the pinnacle at a younger age if everything works out.