Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong went to the Cape Cod League over the summer looking to prove himself.
Yesterday, his efforts were confirmed.
Wong was named to the Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I preseason All-America second team yesterday, tied with Ryan Wright of Louisville and behind only Zack MacPhee of Arizona State.
"Second team, that’s an honor, but I still want to be first team," Wong said. "I am never satisfied. There is always something more to do."
Wong was not on any of the three Louisville Slugger All-America teams last year.
Wong chose to play in Cape Cod rather than for Team USA and came away with the MVP award, joining previous winners Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and Jason Varitek. He hit .341 with three homers and 22 stolen bases in the elite league.
"It’s great news; I’m happy for him," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "If you look at the year he had last year and the summer he put together, it pretty much made it a slam dunk that he was going to get some attention."
Wong was drafted in the 16th round of the 2008 draft and chose to attend Hawaii. He figures to be taken much higher in the 2011 draft if he can match his sophomore campaign, when he hit .357 with four homers, 19 stolen bases and solid defense.
Wong’s effort in the Cape Cod League will give him another advantage going into his junior season. The league uses wood bats, which will be similar to the new composite bats being used in the NCAA this season. Hitting a ball out of Les Murakami Stadium will be a chore, even for a hitter with Wong’s power.
"It’s a big difference, but you are still going to have a bit of pop," Wong said. "I don’t think anything is going to change. I have always felt comfortable with the wood bats. My dad has had me swinging them all the time."
Hawaii opens its season Feb. 18 against Louisville Slugger preseason All-American Tyler Anderson and Oregon after an alumni game a week earlier.