FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Connor Wong was the Dodgers’ third-round pick in the 2017 Draft, selected out of the University of Houston, where he played shortstop as a freshman before moving behind the plate for his final two years. He hit 43 homers in his first two full years as a pro and finished 2019 on a tear in Double-A, slashing .349/.393/.604 over for the final six weeks in the regular season. Acquired by Boston along with Alex Verdugo and infield prospect Jeter Downs from the Dodgers in exchange for Mookie Betts and David Price in February, Wong immediately became the Red Sox’s top catching prospect, ranking No. 16 on the organization’s Top 30 Prospects list.
MLB Pipeline: You didn’t begin catching until later in your college career at Houston. Did you have any experience at the position prior to that?
Connor Wong: Yeah, I had a little bit of experience. Growing up, I just played everywhere – just bounced around. It was kind of the way of Select ball, I guess.
MLB Pipeline: It seems like you’ve really embraced the position, refining your craft to become a good defensive catcher.
Wong: I love catching. I’m always working to become a better catcher, because there are always areas to improve. That’s goal – keep working hard and have fun. Luckily I’ve been able to do that.
MLB Pipeline: Obviously you were traded fairly recently. So, what were you doing when you received the news that you were going to the Red Sox?
Wong: Just getting ready for the season. I was in Arizona, working out and training out there with the Dodgers staff. The news broke, I found out and came right over here.
MLB Pipeline: About your work with the Dodgers -- you worked with them to create some more lift in your swing to hit for more power. What specific adjustments did you make along the way and what did the Dodgers implement?
Wong: I think some of that is just getting deeper in the zone with the barrel and catching the ball more out front. But with that comes swing-and-miss, which is something we’re now working on eliminating.
MLB Pipeline: Speaking of catching the ball out in front, it looked like you did exactly that the other day when you hit that grand slam at JetBlue. What was that experience like?
Wong: It was really cool. I had the bases loaded in my first at-bat that day and didn’t get any RBIs. The next at-bat I was just looking for a pitch to hit to get something in the air, at least for a sacrifice fly, and obviously it went out.
MLB Pipeline: Overall, how has your experience been so far in Red Sox camp? Have you been able to soak it all in? Any players whose brains you’ve picked so far?
Wong: A lot of soaking it in, a lot of just talking to everyone here and there. Really just trying to do my best to work hard and have fun and enjoy everything.