2020 Projection Series - Kolten Wong


Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.


Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of Kolten Wong's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.

The 2019 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2019 season separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.


2019

549 PA - .285/.361/.423/.784

25 doubles, 4 triple, 11 homers

61 runs, 59 RBI, 24 SB, 4 CS


This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right)" projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.

THE GOOD

(best case)

605 PA - .298/.378/.449/.827

32 doubles, 4 triples, 13 homers

76 runs, 68 RBI, 20 SB, 5 CS


As you can see, my system has not caught up to the potential of Wong hitting 1st or 2nd in a lineup yet with only 76 runs and a .378 OBP over 605 PA. It won’t for a season or two, assuming Wong hits there. However, this is even a shade off of what he did the last three months of baseball in 2019 (keep reading). I think the potential is there for him to have at least half of a season or more of these gaudy numbers (well, "gaudy" for a glove first second baseman).


THE BAD

(worst case)

500 PA

.244/.318/.382/.700

25 doubles, 3 triples, 9 homers

51 runs, 46 RBI, 14 SB, 4 CS


And there’s the catch. Here’s Wong from 2014 through his injury in 2016, basically. We’ve seen this Wong. At least now we know he can play the most elite of infield defenses to go along with it, whereas back then we were only seeing glimpses of it. This would not be ideal.


THE CERUTTI

(my system projection)

550 PA - .271/.350/.408/.758

26 doubles, 4 triples, 11 homers

63 runs, 56 RBI, 17 SB, 5 CS

I am not sure I need to say this in the pockets of the interwebs where this will be consumed, but Kolten Wong has actually been #good for the large majority of the last 3.5 seasons. Since coming back from an injury on June 19, 2016 (yes, that long ago), Kolten Wong has hit .271/.355/.409/.763 - 105 wRC+. That’s an above average hitting second baseman with world class defense. He’s stolen 42 bases while getting caught just 11 times in there. He’s had slightly better runs (basically the entirety of 2017), slightly worse runs (basically the entirety of 2018-June 2019), and one absolute tear (July-September 2019) in which he hit .341/.407/.486/.893 for 3 months of baseball.


I think that my projection system really nails that variance quite well this year. I would guess he's about where THE CERUTTI says, but just a little higher.


Link back to all of my projections.