Brett Wallace – Familiar Face In A Familiar Place
Brett Wallace was once thought of as a top prospect within most Major League Baseball circles. Originally drafted 13th overall in the 2008 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, he was the main centerpiece of a trade that brought over current Cardinals leftfielder, Matt Holliday, from the Oakland A’s to St. Louis.
Despite being so talented, his stay with the A’s was short-lived, as he was quickly traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for current A’s / Sacramento Rivercats Right Fielder, Michael Taylor in 2009.
After spending a year in the Blue Jays system, he was then moved to his current organization, the Houston Astros, for centerfield prospect Anthony Gose, in 2010. Gose is thought to be the Blue Jays a top prospect within their system now.
In Wallace’s time with the Astros, he has continued to bounce up and down between the Major League club and Triple-A. With the Major League club, he’s played a total of 239 games and put up a stat line of .243 BA, 16 HRs, 66 RBIs, and a .682 OPS.
Entering his 4th year with the club, the Astros finally gave Wallace a chance to showcase his talent and awarded him the starting first baseman job out of spring training. His stay with the big league club was short-lived, however. Wallace got off to a 1-24 start with the big league club, striking out 17 of his 26 plate appearances. He was soon optioned to their Triple-A affiliate, the Oklahoma City Redhawks, on April 18th, and has been with them ever since. He is currently batting .308 with 5 HRs, 15 RBIs with the club.
In five seasons with four different Triple-A affiliates, he has career totals of .304 BA, with 68 HRs, and 256 RBIs. What is staggering is his light HR totals. In his three semi-full seasons at the Triple-A level, he hasn’t hit more than 18 HRs and garnered more than 61 RBIs, which isn’t what clubs are exactly looking for out of their first baseman.
At age 26, I wonder if Wallace will ever be able to live up to the hype that has followed him from organization to organization. If Wallace can’t improve on his power numbers, this once highly-thought of prospect will just be another familiar face in a familiar place, Triple-A.