Houston Astros: Slugger Brett Wallace Is Ready for His Close-Up
Brett Wallace has nothing more to prove in the Pacific Coast League. In the last four seasons, nobody has had a better look at the PCS from more vantage points than Wallace.
While he was considered to be one of the top prospects in the MLB, Wallace moved from organization to organization in an elaborate game of musical minor league systems.
A first-round pick of the Cardinals, the power-hitting left-handed first baseman destroyed Class-A and Double-A ball. So, off he went to Memphis of the PCL. He continued to hit, but his path to St. Louis was blocked by someone named Albert Pujols, and his time at third base was limited by his wide build.
Wallace then went to Oakland in the Matt Holliday deal. He started hitting in Sacramento of the PCL but, oddly enough, never got the call to join the Athletics.
That off season, he was dealt to Toronto in a swap of prospects. Michael Taylor headed to Oakland, and Wallace went to Toronto's minor league club in Las Vegas, where he smacked the ball around well with both power and a high batting average. There was no keeping him down—he finally got the call to the major leagues.
But he was not a Blue Jay. He was traded again, this time to the Astros in exchange for Anthony Gose. Wallace played the rest of 2010 in Houston, but found himself in the minors again in 2011. For part of last year and much of this season, Wallace played in Oklahoma City. The RedHawks were his fourth different PCL team in as many years.
Because of his great power and Carlos Lee's injury, he was called up to the majors. Wallace is 6-for-14 in his first four games, has a pair of doubles and has even played a little third base.
His window of being a prospect is closing—he is 25 years old. Now is the time to prove himself in the majors. He does not have much else left to do in the Pacific Coast League.
To be fair, there are 12 PCL teams he hasn't played for. Maybe he will play for all of them before he retires.
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