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Wong proving more than capable of everyday role

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Any lingering questions about Kolten Wong's readiness to be an everyday player in the Majors continue to fade, as the second baseman has made himself an immediate contributor.

With eight hits in his first 29 at-bats, Wong sits just one shy of matching his total from 59 at-bats last season. It wasn't until Tuesday night that Wong collected the first RBIs of his Major League career. The fact that it took so long was a reminder of how little went right for him a year ago after being called up in August.

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ST. LOUIS -- Any lingering questions about Kolten Wong's readiness to be an everyday player in the Majors continue to fade, as the second baseman has made himself an immediate contributor.

With eight hits in his first 29 at-bats, Wong sits just one shy of matching his total from 59 at-bats last season. It wasn't until Tuesday night that Wong collected the first RBIs of his Major League career. The fact that it took so long was a reminder of how little went right for him a year ago after being called up in August.

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"I think it's just more confidence in myself this year," Wong said. "I definitely want to bring that confidence back. I had it all through the Minor Leagues, and when I came up last year, I had that star-struck … I didn't know what was going on. I was kind of in awe that I'm in the big leagues right now. This year, I want to come with that confidence and play with the mindset that I belong here."

The Cardinals never had much concern about Wong's defensive ability, and he's showed off his range with several impressive plays already. On the offensive end, Wong found a home in the second spot of the batting order against right-handers and has reached base at least once in six of his first seven starts. He's also swiped two bases, the team's only two steals so far.

With Mark Ellis on the disabled list and unable to challenge Wong for playing time, Wong has positioned himself not to have any of it taken away even once Ellis returns, which could be as early as Friday.

"Kolten just keeps impressing us," manager Mike Matheny said. "What he's doing on the bases -- good jumps and good instincts -- but I also think all the way around."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.

St. Louis Cardinals, Kolten Wong