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2021 Angels Player Review: Kean Wong

Wong’s second stint with the Angels lasted longer than the first but came to the same end with his release

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kean Wong was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 4th round of the 2013 draft and was the 128th overall pick. He worked his way up through the Rays minor league system until he made his MLB debut on September 5th, 2019 and was DFA’d on the 22nd. His first stint with the Angels was when they picked him up on September 24th after his time with Tampa and he had 4 ABs with the team before being released and signed by the Giants.

On November 2nd, 2020 Wong elected free agency from the Giants and the Angels signed him for the second time and offered him a minor league contract with an invite to spring training on November 17th. He played with the Bees and spent time being called up to the big league club for periods as short as one day throughout the season. Wong added a bat to the bench, provided versatility on the field, and found himself traveling often between the two teams as people were taken on and off the IL as well.

Wong played in left field, right field, third base, and second base for the team throughout the season and spent the majority of his playing time on second (10 G) and the least time in left and right field (4 G respectively). While playing at second base, he turned 6 double plays and that was also the position that he started the most games at (5 GS).

Wong’s performance was pretty evenly split whether he was playing at home (16 G, 24 AB, .167/.200/.208) or away (16 G, 36 AB, .167/.189/.250). His numbers against righties (26 G, 54 AB, .167/.196/.241) versus lefties (6 G, 6 AB, .167/.167/.167) though with different sample sizes, all produced extremely similar results. In 2021 Wong played 46 games with the Salt Lake Bees in the PCL while accumulating 31 runs, 64 hits, 4 home runs, walking 14 times and striking out 32 times with a .339/.384/.476 slash line.

2021 Stats:

32 Games / 60 AB / .167 Avg. / .194 OBP / .233 SLG / .427 OPS / 10 H / 0 HR / RBI / 3 R / 2 2B / 1 3B / 2 BB / 0 SB

Best Offensive Performance of the Year:

Wong’s best offensive performance of the year was on May 31st when the Halos were playing the Giants in San Francisco. He was the starting second baseman and in 4 ABs he had 2 hits, with 1 triple. This was the most hits he accumulated in a game at the major league level last season and his sole triple.

Also worth mentioning is the best offensive performance that he had at the minor league level this season. On May 15th, with the Bees, he went 4-4 against the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA affiliate of the Mariners), with 1 home run, 2 doubles, and 3 runs batted in. The runs he drove in proved critical as Salt Lake won the game by a score of 8-7.

Best Defensive Performance of the Year:

Wong’s best defensive performance of the year came on June 7th at home against the Royals. In the top of the first inning he made a leaping catch at the wall, robbing Santana of a home run and preventing Kansas City from taking an early lead. Wong’s defensive play was one of the highlights of the night and the Angels went on to win the game, 8-3.

Roster Status:

On November 22nd, the Angels acquired IF/OF Tyler Wade from the Yankees for a PTBNL or cash and Wade was DFA’d by the Yankees; in order to make room for him on the 40 man roster, Wong was designated for assignment. Two days later on November 24th, the club announced it had outrighted Hector Yan to Salt Lake, making room for Aaron Loup, and in the same move, Wong had been released to clear up room for Wade. He is currently a free agent and where he will play next will be decided after the lockout.

2021 Overall Grade: C-