Red Sox

3 things to know about Connor Wong, Red Sox prospect called up vs. Rays

Wong was one of the players acquired in exchange for Mookie Betts.

Connor Wong
Connor Wong in action against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League spring training game. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Red Sox called up catching prospect Connor Wong, one of the prospects acquired in the trade that sent Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wong, 25, replaced backup catcher Kevin Plawecki on the roster. Plawecki suffered a left hamstring strain Sunday against the Royals.

Here are three things to know about Wong.

Wong struggled offensively with the WooSox.

Don’t expect Wong to come in and light the MLB on fire offensively. Wong, a third-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2017, hit just .148 in 16 games with the WooSox this season. Wong has one home run and seven RBIs in 61 at-bats.

Wong’s WooSox sample size is minuscule, and he fared better in 2019, batting .349 with nine homers in 149 at bats with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers. But scouts noted a long swing and an approach that needs work to maximize his potential.

Wong is a solid defensive prospect.

Interestingly, Wong — who is considered small for a catcher — can play multiple positions, including catcher, second and third base. He played outfield as well in college.

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“There’s a calm behind the plate,” Alex Cora told reporters on Tuesday. “There’s not a lot of emotion. He just goes about his business. He’s a good athlete. His at-bats in spring training, he controlled the strike zone which is very important and we’re very pleased with his progress.”

Wong’s calm approach seems to be a major selling point for Cora, who noted it earlier this season as well.

“Even his at-bats — he walks and he takes his time putting the bat down,” Cora said in March. “There’s something good about them.”

Wong wasn’t the only prospect of interest in Worcester

When Wong was called up, many Red Sox fans wondered when Jeter Downs and Jarren Duran — the No. 2 and 3 prospects in the Red Sox’s system respectively — might get called up.

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Cora was asked about Duran on Tuesday.

“We are very pleased with the progress and the way he’s playing,” Cora said. “I know people get excited, right? He hit a walk-off home run the other day and they see the home run. There’s more there. There’s more than just hitting home runs. His defense is improving. Obviously he’s a game-changer on the basepaths.

“We like where he’s at progress-wise. If it’s tomorrow or it’s in a month or whatever, I know we know he can help us. But there’s a few things still — he needs to keep working on it.”

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