As a member of Oregon State’s 2007 College World Series championship team, Traveler shortstop Joey Wong was drafted as a junior in 2009 in the 24th round by the Colorado Rockies. After eight seasons with the Rockies, Wong played with China in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and signed with the Mariners three days later. Wong had stints in the AAA as a utility player, but is excited to be with the Travelers and be the every-day shortstop.
Talk about your career so far?
It’s been a long road. I spent eight seasons with the Rockies in the minor leagues and as a backup. In 2009 in short A, I was the main guy. Since then, I’ve been a backup infielder. I’m definitely happy to be with the Mariners and be an everyday player.
How is it being one of the oldest players in the clubhouse?
We have a great clubhouse and talk about life and baseball. The guys are a fun group to be around. The ones that have been persistent like me we talk about our experiences.
You played 2013 and 2014 with the Tulsa Drillers. How is it being back in the Texas League?
It’s a good league and travel to San Antonio and Corpus Christi is the toughest. The travel is not as hard. I prefer this league, and it has great towns and draws well.
What was like playing in the World Games?
I had never been to Japan. We had a two-week mini-camp and got to see different things in the city. It was an amazing experience.
You have a buyout clause in your contract if a chance to play for a team in the Asian Leagues (Japan, Taiwan, Korea) materializes. Why did you do that?
It’s an opt-out and definitely a possibility. I don’t want to leave anything off the table and will see what develops. My situation here couldn’t be any better because I get to play every day.
What it hard to go pro after your junior year at Oregon State?
I definitely love OSU, and it was a tough decision. At that point, I felt like I was ready for the next step and start my career. It was tough to leave, and every time I watch the College World Series, I wish I could play one more time.
What do you do in the off-season?
I try to play golf and catch up with my family and relax. The last three out of four off-seasons, I went and played in Australia (Perth). I love it there. The people and culture there are amazing. This year I’ve be staying home because my fiancée and I are expecting a girl in September.
Besides the Big Leagues, what are your goals?
My goal has always been to be in the Majors and win the World Series. I would love to be an every-day guy, but in the Major Leagues, I would probably more of an utility player. I’m happy with that and used to it. After baseball, I may want to get into coaching because I enjoy playing ball.
Have you had to adjust being an everyday player?
Mostly in the weight room, I train differently. I’m not as aggressive as in the past. I want to stay healthy and stay on the field.