For the second draft in a row the St. Louis Cardinals went with a polished, contact-hitting college infielder with their first pick, selecting University of Hawaii 2B Kolten Wong with the 22nd pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Wong, 20, hit .378/.492/.560 and stole 23 bases with Hawaii, according to the mothership report on him.
Over at Viva El Birdos, the initial fear is that he resembles not Zack Cox, the 2010 polished-infielder who was widely judged as the best pure hitter in the draft, but Pete Kozma, the much-maligned high school shortstop who seemed to project from the moment he was drafted as a utility infielder.
Wong is supposed to move somewhat faster, and could help stabilize an infield situation that's been a mess for years, but it's always worrisome to see an MLB team draft for need, given the amount of time it takes an MLB Draft prospect to reach the majors for good. Wong doesn't appear to be a tough signability issue, so he could be a member of one of the St. Louis Cardinals' full-season squads soon. For all the updates on the Cardinals' draft performance, follow our 2011 MLB Draft storystream.