Brett Wallace, hitting (and strikeout) machine, heads back to Triple-A
The Houston Astros sent Brett Wallace back to the minor leagues on Thursday, once again raising the question of whether the 2008 first-round draft pick will ever hit in the major leagues. Wallace, who has been traded three times, was 1-for-4 with 17 strikeouts when he was sent down.
Brett Wallace was going to hit. He had a bad body, and he wasn't going to be able to play a position, but he was going to hit.
The Cardinals were convinced. They drafted him in the first round in 2008.
The A's were convinced. They made him the centerpiece of the Matt Holliday trade in 2009.
The Blue Jays were convinced. They made sure to get him as part of the Roy Halladay deal that same December.
The Astros were convinced. They got him as part of the Roy Oswalt trade in 2010.
"Brett Wallace is a hitting machine," then-Astros general manager Ed Wade said.
Brett Wallace is back in Triple-A. Brett Wallace had 24 major-league at-bats this season and managed to strike out in 17 of them. Brett Wallace had just one hit, a single off Matt Harrison in his second at-bat of the season.
After that, he went 0-for-22 with 16 strikeouts. Only once in those 22 at-bats did he get the ball out of the infield.
Finally, on Thursday, the Astros sent the 26-year-old Wallace to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He's back in Triple-A for the fifth straight season, and Brandon Laird has taken his spot on the Astros' roster.
Wallace has done well in the minor leagues, with a career .304 average and .860 OPS in 315 Triple-A games. He had a .914 OPS in Double-A and a .908 OPS in Class A. He was a .400 hitter two years in a row at Arizona State.
His career average in the big leagues, through 239 games? Try .243, with a .682 OPS and 231 strikeouts in 733 at-bats.
Is Brett Wallace ever going to hit?
Ed Wade believed he would. So did Jeff Luhnow, who was the Cardinals' vice president in charge of scouting when Wallace was drafted, and is now the Astros' general manager.
But if Brett Wallace is going to hit now, it's going to be in Triple-A.