When the Houston Astros traded for Brett Wallace, they thought were getting one of the top first base prospects in all of baseball.
They were getting a guy who had been traded a few times, but was traded for star players. Many teams wanted this guy and at the time, it looked as if the Astros were lucky enough to get him in a trade. But so far, it has been the complete opposite. He hasn’t lived up to expectations, and in fact, this may be his last chance with the Astros.
So far in his career, Wallace has been pretty mediocre. He has a career .243/.315/.377 triple-slash line, and is looking like a Triple-A Hall of Famer. I don’t know what happens to him when he gets promoted, but he always seems to do terribly. He has a hole in his swing, and the major league pitchers can find it.
When, if ever, will Wallace live up to expectations?
I’ll say never, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a serviceable major league first baseman. When Wallace was acquired, I think many Astros fans hoped he’d become the next Jeff Bagwell; but let’s be honest — there is only one Bagwell.
Wallace had a terrible start the year this season, and was sent down only to destroy every Triple-A pitcher in his path. He has since been called up, and there is something different about this Brett Wallace. He has his hands in a different spot when batting, and that’s not just it. He seems to be much more confident. He finally looks good in the batter’s box.
It may just be a small sample size, but Wallace is finally looking like a major league player. He is hitting the ball to all sides of the field, but the best thing he is doing is taking balls the opposite way, instead of just swinging through them.
It remains to be seen if Wallace will keep this up, but with expectations with the Astros now lowered, now would be as good a time as any for him to start exceeding them.