ANAHEIM -- Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was beaming with pride Friday discussing Kolten Wong, one of the Cardinals' top prospects who was called up to the big leagues earlier in the day. Luhnow was the Cardinals' scouting director when they drafted Wong in the first round in 2011.
"I'm not surprised he's getting the call," Luhnow said. "He's a terrific player and is going to be a great big leaguer."
Luhnow scouted Wong heavily and spent a few days in his native Hawaii getting to know him and his family well before the Draft. It wasn't a safe pick, considering 5-foot-9 second basemen aren't typically first-round selections.
"I took some risks taking him as a scouting director, but if there was a player I felt good about taking that kind of risk on, it was Kolten Wong," Luhnow said. "He still has a long way to go to prove us right, but he's taken that next big step, which is getting a chance to play in the big leagues."
In his 107 games with Triple-A Memphis, Wong batted .303 with an on-base percentage of .369. He swiped 20 bases in 21 attempts this season.
"There were some scouts who thought he was too small," Luhnow said. "I felt good about it. I know no matter what, he had the tools play somewhere in the field, whether second or third, and the bat was going to carry him to the big leagues."