College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2011 College Baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
We continue the list today with number 26 Hawaii junior second baseman Kolten Wong. The Hilo, Hawaii, native attended Kamehameha-Hawaii High School in Kea’au, and was an All-League selection each of his four years there. He was named to the All-State Team in 2006 and 2008, and was State Co-Player of the Year in 2008, hitting .660 for his senior season. Wong also played football in high school and was named First Team All-League from 2005-07, earning league Player of the Year honors in 2006. Wong was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th Round of the 2008 MLB Draft, but wisely chose to attend school.
Wong had a great freshman year playing mainly center field for the Warriors in 2009, earning First Team All-WAC and WAC Player of the Year honors as a Freshman, while being named a Freshman All-American by what seems like every publication covering the sport. He hit .341 with 11 HR and 52 RBI, with 21 doubles and 11 stolen bases. He batted an incredible .424 in WAC play with 5 HR and 29 RBI, including a 3 HR game against Loyola Marymount on March 12th. He followed up his amazing freshman season by spending the summer of 2009 with Team USA, hitting only .215 but did steal 11 bases in 21 games.
He started 2010 much like he ended his college season in 2009, upping his batting average to .357 while belting 7 HR and 40 RBi. While his power numbers were down slightly, he got on base more often by improving his walk total from 25 to 36. Wong spent a third of the year leading off, but ended up solidifying a role in the 3 spot. He stole 19 bases in 2010, up from 10 the year before. Was named WAC Tournament MVP as he went 10-18 with 7 RBI and 10 runs scored, while not striking out over the entire tournament. The WAC Champs went on to the Tempe Regional, where they advanced to the Regional Final out of the Losers’ bracket and fell to Arizona State in Game 6. The awards poured in again for Wong as he was named First-Team All WAC yet again.
Wong struggled in the offseason after his freshman year, but that wasn’t the case in 2010, as he was named the 2010 Cape Cod League MVP playing for the Orleans Firebirds. Wong had the third best batting average in the league, hitting .341 with 3 HR, 11 RBI and 22 SB in only 38 games played, striking out only 13 times in 135 AB’s. Wong was also named an Eastern Division All-Star.
Here’s a interview with Wong leading up to the 2010 season: