ST. LOUIS — The Big Island has a big leaguer once again.
The St. Louis Cardinals will purchase the contract of second baseman Kolten Wong, one of their top prospects, before today’s game against the Chicago Cubs.
The 22-year-old Wong, a 2008 Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate, was a first-round draft pick and the 22nd overall pick in 2011 after playing three seasons at the University of Hawaii.
He was batting .303 in 107 games at Triple-A Memphis with 21 doubles, eight triples, 10 home runs and 20 steals. Prior to this season, Wong spent a year apiece in Single-A and Double-A. Wong will wear No. 16 with the Cardinals and is expected to join the team in Chicago before today’s 10:05 a.m. HST game.
Outfielder Adron Chambers was optioned to Memphis after the Cardinals beat Pittsburgh 6-5 in 12 innings Thursday.
Matt Carpenter has had a breakout year at second base and in the leadoff spot, leading the National League with 48 multi-hit games and 40 doubles, but can also play corner outfield spots and third base.
Left-hander Onan Masaoka was the last Big Island native to play in the majors, ending his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2000. Former University of Hawaii at Hilo pitcher Tyler Yates of Kauai, last played in 2009 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.