Astros manager, Brad Mills, appeared on 1560 The Game this morning and the subject of Brett Wallace was brought up. Mills then dropped a huge surprise on us all. He stated that Wallace will start taking grounders at 3B and see playing time there as well with Carlos Lee entrenched at 1B. Its not surprising at all that Lee will be the Astros 1B this year. He is a complete disaster defensively in the outfield and with no real threat at 1B, its the logical place for him to play if he’s still with the Astros. It’s the Wallace factor that is a bit surprising.
Wallace began his professional career as a third baseman when he was drafted by the Cardinals in 2008, but he made the move over to first base following the trade to the Oakland A’s. His defense at 3B was less than stellar so Oakland made the decision to move him across the diamond. That being said, the Astros do not have any options at 3B in the minors. The club passed on some good 3B prospects when they selected Mike Kvasnicka (a catcher in college that, for some odd reason, the Astros decided to move to 3B rather than drafting a pure 3B) with their second supplementary first round pick in 2010. Kvasnicka has been a huge bust. Jimmy Paredes and Chris Johnson figured to be competing for the starting job this spring but Wallace’s emergence as a candidate at 3B could be the most interesting thing to watch when spring training gets here. Either way, Wallace is going to need to start showing some signs of power if he ever wants to be considered a legitimate MLB player. His power has basically disappeared since he hit the major leagues with the Astros in 2010. The opportunity to move back to 3B could be considered golden for Wallace as Jonathan Singleton seems to be the heir apparent at 1B for the Astros. Let’s all hope that Wallace makes the most of this opportunity as it could be beneficial for both himself and the Astros.