The Milwaukee Brewers have come to terms with second baseman Kolten Wong on a two-year deal worth $18 million according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. If the Brewers decide to exercise Wong’s option, the infielder will receive $26 million over three years.
Milwaukee becomes Wong’s second Major League team. Over the last eight years, Wong has been a regular shortstop with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Brewers’ National League Central Division rival.
In 2020, Wong batted .265, with one home run, and 16 runs batted in. He scored 26 runs, and had 48 hits, four doubles, two triples, five stolen bases, 20 walks, a .350 on base percentage, .326 slugging percentage, and 59 total bases, along with two sacrifice hits, and one sacrifice fly.
One area of concern for the Brewers could be Wong’s lack of power, compared to other second basemen who signed significant offseason contracts, such as DJ LeMahieu with the New York Yankees and Marcus Semien with the Toronto Blue Jays. While Semien has had 40 home runs over the last two seasons with the Oakland Athletics, and LeMahieu had 36 home runs over the last two seasons with the Yankees, Wong only had 12 home runs over the last two seasons with the Cardinals.
Wong’s lone home run for St. Louis in 2020 came in a 6-5 Cardinals win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 18. Only seven of Wong’s 48 hits went for extra bases.
One major strength Wong will bring to Milwaukee is his defense. The last two years, Wong has won the gold glove award in the National League at shortstop. He had a fielding percentage of .987 in 2019, and was even two percentage points better in 2020 at .989.
A native of Hilo, HI, Wong is part of a rich history of Major League Baseball players from the beautiful Hawaiian island. Others include pitchers Charlie Hough and Ron Darling, catcher Kurt Suzuki, and outfielder Shane Victorino.