In my ‘About’ page, I promise to keep my Brett Wallace man-crush to a dull roar. Well, that hasn’t been too hard. I became lead writer of Climbing Tal’s Hill around the time Wallace was acquired by Houston from the Blue Jays. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to see the Astros get a top prospect destroying Triple-A pitching. Wallace was a first round pick just 2 years ago and projects to have great power as a starting corner infielder. He played third base in the minors but has played primarily first base in the majors.
So far, Wallace is hitting just .200 through his first 89 at-bats. It’s obviously a very small sample size but his 6:1 SO:BB ratio is alarming. And although Chris Johnson is hitting .325, his similar SO:BB ratio suggests the average is unsustainable. I don’t know if the Astros can afford Johnson, Wallace, and catcher Jason Castro in the lineup at the same time. At least not yet. I’m still high on these three players but there will definitely be more growing pains coming.
The only reason Wallace is easy to single out is because Carlos Lee’s outfield defense is decreasing and he could be a capable first baseman. Lee is also one of the Astros’ best hitters despite his down year. And guys like Jason Bourgeois and Brian Bogusevic offer decent options in left field (namely Bogusevic).
I still think Wallace is going to have a good major league career, and Johnson and Castro probably will too, but it may be a long couple of years if they don’t start sooner rather than later. Wallace started out hot when he came to Houston but he has yet to hit his first homerun.
Hopefully, it comes soon and followed by many more.