Connor Wong, C, BOS

Another piece Boston got back in that Mookie Betts trade, catcher Connor Wong is now in the Red Sox organization.
Video courtesy of YouTube
  • Born: May 19, 1996
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’1″, 181-lbs
  • Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 3rd round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft from the University of Houston (Houston, TX).

The Numbers

Let’s aggregate by level and focus on important numbers for minor leaguers:

The power is real, we can start with that. You can see those solid green ISOnumbers. Or you can look at spring training where in 13 plate appearances he walked twice, struck out twice, hit a single and two home runs. The power is real.

Also real is that K% progression. Phew, the kid will swing! He draw some walks (power gets you that respect from pitchers), but he doesn’t walk a huge amount.

He has stolen a few bases, and at 6’1″, 181-lbs (boy is that precise! Did they weigh him before or after breakfast?), he has the body to provide more speed than we usually expect from a catcher.

Defensively, he should stick behind the plate, but as a starter? Right now the expectation is that if he doesn’t make better contact, he’s more likely a reserve catcher with power than a starter.

He hit righties better than lefties, but what he really did was break out in Double-A, hitting better against all pitchers. 2019 was a good year (‘cept for those strikeouts).
Look at them home runs! It’s to all fields, as are his doubles and triples and singles. Go ahead, shift for Wong and see where it gets you!
It’s hard to be a catcher in the minors, what with those long travel days on buses, and then having to shepherd the pitching staff and keep track of the opposing hitters. You aren’t paid much, you struggle to afford enough to eat . . . hey, I’m just putting into words what that 2018 chart looks like.

As a 23-year-old in 2019, he again started to struggle in May before righting the ship in June, getting the call to Double-A in July, and then taking off like a rocket in August and September.

The Scouts


Warnings

Those strikeouts!

He did good in his first taste of Double-A, but can he do it again? Any catcher who can hit .281 with 24 doubles and 24 home runs in a season is a starter, but a batter who doesn’t walk that much and does strike out a lot is unlikely to hit .281 often. Let’s see him prove it again before anointing him a starter in the majors.

Conclusion

Scouts aren’t impressed, but the power is real, and, sigh, so are the strikeouts. How he balances those two things will determine his future. At the least, he should be a major league backup catcher with thump (and maybe a steal or two).

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