Waiakea’s Kean Wong is enjoying an All-Star season in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, a season that continued Wednesday with the 2018 Triple-A All-Star Game.
Wong, who plays for the Durham Bulls, was named to the International League’s roster for the annual game against the Pacific Coast League in Columbus, Ohio.
“It means a lot. The whole goal is to get to the major leagues and you know, by knocking this off and showing the team that I am ready, it means a lot to me and it means a lot to my family as well,” Wong told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
Wong, 23, ranks second in the IL with a .316 batting average over 70 games (87-for-275) and is fourth on the circuit with a .385 on-base percentage.
The fourth-round selection of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft by Tampa Bay has spent time at second base, third base, and left field this season, leaving many to predict that Wong will soon receive the elusive call-up to Tampa Bay.
“If they need somebody, I will be here, and I’m ready for it and whenever they need me, I’m ready,” said Wong. “Playing the sport that I love, that is all I could ever ask for. Just for them to come, sit me down in their office, and tell me that they want me to play different positions so that when I get called up, I can play that one position that they need. Yeah, I take pride in it. I take pride in playing baseball. That’s what I played since I was born. I love it and just knowing that the team likes me, I just go out there and play 110 percent, and let the chips where they fall. I can’t control what they can control so like I said, just come out and play every day.”
The younger brother of St. Louis Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong has six home runs and 34 RBI in 2018, and was named the 2017 Triple-A National Championship Game MVP after blasting a grand slam in the Bulls’ 5-3 victory over the Memphis Redbirds.
The Triple-A All-Star Game will mark as the third different level that Wong has been named an All-Star in his pro career. In 2014 while with the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Single-A) and in 2016 with the Montgomery Biscuits (Double-A), Wong was also selected to All-Star games.
The 2018 Triple-A All-Star Game takes place at Huntington Park and is streamed at MILB.TV.