CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Kolten Wong

About the Author: Eric Cressey

We’re excited to welcome St. Louis Cardinals second baseman and 2019 Gold Glove Award Winner Kolten Wong to this week’s podcast.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Rawlings. We’re ecstatic to announce a new partnership between Rawlings and Cressey Sports Performance, and they’ve set up a 20% off discount code on select products for our listeners. Just head to www.Rawlings.com and enter coupon code CRESSEY20 and you’ll receive 20% off on your order. Certain items are excluded, but there’s still a ton of great baseball training gear to make you a better player and coach.

Show Outline

  • How the culture of Hawaiian baseball played a role in Kolten’s development
  • Why Kolten chose to attend the University of Hawaii instead of signing professionally out of high school
  • Though known as a second baseman, how Kolten became recognized as a talented catcher in high school, and why he transitioned to play center field his freshman year at Hawaii
  • How Kolten seemed to smoothly transition through the ranks of professional baseball and into the big leagues
  • How straying away from his strengths and trying to be someone he’s not led to an underwhelming first month as a rookie and a trip back to AAA
  • What hitting adjustments Kolten made to bounce back from his initial setbacks and return to major league baseball to earn the NL Rookie of the Month in May 2014
  • After being sent down again in 2015, how Kolten’s experience as an outfielder at Hawaii and his willingness to be versatile allowed him to return to MLB as the Cardinals’ center fielder
  • Why he returned to the infield as a second baseman in 2016 and how Kolten has progressed to eventually become the outstanding defensive second baseman he is today
  • How critical self-evaluation and seeking out advice from knowledgeable veterans helped Kolten turn a corner in his game and develop an edge defensively
  • How understanding details of the game defensively has elevated Kolten games to a new level
  • What Kolten’s pre-pitch defensive routine is, and how did he come to find this optimal pre-pitch set up
  • How defensive training fits into his offseason schedule
  • How Kolten has come to be passionate about teaching the game of baseball to the next generation of players
  • What foundational skills and fundamental lessons Kolten always tries to pass on when working with a young ball player
  • Why getting in front of the baseball is not always the right move defensively, and how having the ability to field with one hand is an overlooked skill in the game if baseball
  • What Kolten’s glove care routine is, including: how often he replaces his glove, how he goes about breaking in a new glove, and why the glove is simply an extension of the hand
  • How Kolten trains to remain healthy and durable through the daily demands of being a position player
  • Why Kolten has shifted to incorporate more yoga into his training recently and how these difficult bodyweight positions are advancing his game physically and mentally
  • What Kolten believes is the best defensive play of his entire baseball career
  • You can follow Kolten on Twitter at @KoltenWong and on Instagram at @thewongone808.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Rawlings. If you want to develop faster, and train better, you need the best gear. Well, we have some good news for you. The #1 baseball brand in the world, Rawlings, has partnered with Cressey Sports Performance to make getting the best training gear for you more affordable. Simply head to www.Rawlings.com and use the code, CRESSEY20, at checkout and you’ll save 20% off your order! This offer is only valid on select items, but there’s a ton of great gear you’ll save 20% on that will help you become a better player, so shop now!

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