HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former University of Hawaii 2nd baseman Kolten Wong is going to begin this year on the St. Louis Cardinals spring training roster. He's looking to prove he's ready for the big show. It's not a matter of if he's playing, but when.
"Everyone always asks that question. I always say when it's my time it's my time. Until then I'm going to keep playing and keep doing what I need to do to show the Cardinals that I'm ready to get there," said Wong.
After shining with the Springfield Cardinals in 2012, Kolten Wong has proved he's ready for the next step. Last season, the former first round pick batted 287 with 9 home runs and 52 RBI's.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he prefers Wong get a full season of triple-a ball under his belt. But with 2nd base being a major need for St. Louis, the Cardinals may not have a choice but to bring Wong up.
Regardless of where he's playing, Kolten says the lessons learned have been priceless.
"To be part of the Cardinals who, have so many good things about them. They're just so prestigious and they're constantly winning, it shows you how to be a winner and they show you how to be a winner and they show you the winning ways so it's an honor," said Wong.
Wong says the biggest hurdle in making the transition from college to the pros is the mental game.
"The constant bus rides, the 15 hour bus rides they take a toll on your body but, basically just learning how to grind out games a little bit. I mean you have to play 140 games. You gotta learn how to play through that. And play through the pain, it's tough but that's my job and I mean, you gotta pay your dues before you get to the big show," he said.
It's a patience that should see Wong join a short list of Hawaii guys in the big's like Shane Victorino, Kurt Suzuki, Brandon League and Jerome Williams.
"To see guys like that and to know that someday I could be in their shoes, it's awesome. Those guys have put Hawaii on the map and I hope that I can carry that on," Wong explained.