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MVBrewers #7: Kolten Wong

Despite Wong’s weak defense in 2022, he had a career-year offensively

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Our MVBrewers series continues this week with second baseman Kolten Wong coming in at No. 7 on the team for 2022.

While he missed some time with injuries, he still played in 134 games, fourth-most on the team.

Wong stepped up in 2022 to have arguably his best offensive season, finishing with a .251/.339/.430 slash line to go with a career-high 15 homers, 47 RBIs, and a career-high 118 OPS+. Wong especially excelled against right-handers, finishing with a .277/.357/.489 slash line with a 14 of his 15 long balls.

He also played well after the All-Star break, when most of the Brewers’ offense went ice cold. He hit nine of his 15 homers in the second half of the season and he finished with a .862 second half OPS after a .695 mark in the first half.

Despite back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in 2019 and 2020 with the Cardinals, Wong has struggled defensively with Milwaukee. He finished with negative defensive runs saved (-1) for the first time since 2017, when he finished at -3 with St. Louis, per Baseball Reference.

All of this combined for a 3.1 WAR, according to Baseball Reference, good for fourth-best on the team behind Willy Adames, Corbin Burnes, and Luis Urias.

Wong’s best performance came late in the year, when he went 3-for-4 with three homers and five RBIs in Milwaukee’s 5-1 win over Cincinnati on Sept. 22. He also had a two-homer game against the Padres at home in June, finishing with three RBIs in the 6-4 loss.

We’ll continue the rankings of the 10 most valuable Brewers each Monday into January. Come back next week to see who we have at No. 6.

  1. Kolten Wong
  2. Josh Hader
  3. Christian Yelich
  4. Luis Urias