Rays 2016 Top 50 Prospects: Number 39, Kean Wong
Rays Top 50 Prospects includes a tremendous number of high-quality prospects. We at RCG are bringing you an in-depth look at those we consider to be the Top 50.
While gathering as much information as possible from various sources, we’re going to put it all together for your enjoyment and raise the bar on what you expect from a prospect knowledgable site. Stay tuned, check-in often, and please let us know how we’re doing.
More from Rays Prospects
- Tampa Bay Rays: Erik Neander has turned this team into a 26-man wrecking machine
- Tampa Bay Rays’ future arrives (hopefully) on Monday night with Shane Baz
- Who should the Tampa Bay Rays call-up when rosters expand?
- Tampa Bay Rays 2021 First Round Draft target: Gavin Williams
- Tampa Bay Rays 2021 Draft target: Colson Montgomery
Being such a lengthy process, some encouragement will go a very long way. We hope you’ll enjoy reading this series as much as we enjoy putting it together. If anything, all of us will know that much more about the quality of the Rays system.
The rankings will be based on all aspects of each prospect, but will focus first on how likely the player is to make an impact in MLB, and ceiling next. Mikie Mahtook and Enny Romero have been graduated to the majors and will not be included in these rankings.
Once completed, the Top 50 will be updated mid-season with an explanation to why they’re moving up or down, and the entire process will be repeated each season.
The next player to be examined in detail is …
#39: Kean Wong, 2B, 20 years old
- Bats: Left Ht/Wt: 5’11” 190 lbs
- Drafted: in the 4th rd of the 2013 draft by the Rays
- Signed: for $391,000
- 2015 Affiliate: Charlotte, HiA
- Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2018+
Wong’s 2015 Splits
- Follow him on Twitter: @Keanwong4
- Was ranked 219th by BA in their top 500 draft eligible prospects
- Was committed to Hawaii before signing
- Ranked 20th on Minor League Ball’s 2014 Rays prospect list
- Finished 3rd in Total Bases among Charlotte players in 2015 with 131
- Was 1st in sacrifice hits among Charlotte players with 9 total
- His wRC+ of 99 for 2015 was the first time he was below 100
- Crushed LHP to the tune of .349/.386/.425
- Was also very effective with 2 outs and RISP with a line of .328/.366/.403
- Will need to improve on his .247/.295/.299 line vs RHP
- Joined Ryne Stanek and Jacob Faria on the 2014 Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star team in 2014
- Along with Jake Bauers who was within the SD ranks then, and Andrew Velazquez, he made the 2014 Midwest League post-season All-Star team
Manager Michael Johns on Wong:
"“He’s just a soft-spoken kid and that’s a good thing,” “He goes about his business, he works hard, he likes playing baseball, you would never know he was there. … He was never a guy that wants to bring attention to himself, but he’s come into his own.” “You’re talking about a kid that just turned 20 and he’s in high-A right now and he’s doing well,” “He’s got all the makeup, the aptitude and the athleticism to do so.”"
His patience at the plate was evident in the most critical and pressure-filled moments:
Best Tools & Abilities
- Defensive ability
- Hitting ability
- At least average Speed
- Grades: Hit 20/55, Raw Power 45/45+, Speed 50/50, Throws 45/45+
As with his older brother, Kolten, Kean is noted as a baseball rat who eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. With a stocky and sturdy build, there’s a decent chance that there will eventually be a decent power source to come out of his bat. However, even without that power surge Kean has a great chance of having enough hitting ability to make it to the Majors.
More from Rays Colored Glasses
- Tampa Bay Rays give richest contract in franchise history to Wander Franco
- Remembering Julio Lugo’s time with the Tampa Bay Rays
- Are you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?
- Rays: Just how good was Randy Arozarena’s rookie season?
- Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino stands out despite low batting average
There’s a chance that Kean could steal a good amount of bases, somewhere in the 10-25 range, but he’s not going to be a burner on the bases. Some believe his speed is average at best.
Kean has yet to make double-digit errors in a season and has maintained a .979 to .985 fielding percentage despite being pushed through the minors at a fairly fast pace. While some may question whether he should move to 3B, there’s little evidence that he won’t be able to stick at 2B and do so with at least average defensive play.
Kean uses a leg kick as a timing mechanism and is fairly active at the plate. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any adjustments made to his approach at the plate in 2016 in an attempt to draw the power that his frame and bat speed hold.
There’s a good chance that Kean will develop enough power and display enough hitting ability to remain at least part of the conversation in terms of future 2B in TB. However, if he improves his power numbers by a good margin, his chances will improve by a tremendous amount.
He has the acumen, the baseball skills, and the experience at a young age to battle with the best of them for a future position with the Rays and 2016 may be a very important step in proving he belongs among the best. We expect him to make at least a step forward in power numbers while also possibly getting some time at 3B in order to increase his versatility.
Kean could blossom into a decent doubles hitter, but we still have a hard time seeing double digit HR coming off his bat. There’s a chance that this aspect will hold him back from being a regular in MLB, but he should at a minimum be able to earn a look as a bench utility player.
As much as we like his performance after an aggressive progression through the minors that the Rays have put him through, we feel that the lack of overall power – including lack of doubles – hurts Kean’s chances of becoming an MLB regular.
Next: Tampa Bay Rays Top 50 Prospects: Number 29, Spencer Moran
Should he increase his power numbers in 2016, we’ll adjust our rankings as we definitely believe the defensive ability and bat speed will play at the MLB level. We wish Kean all of the best going forward in 2016 and beyond, and we’ll be ready to amp up his ranking should he make enough improvements at the plate.