Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Brett Wallace released

Jose Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle tweeted out this morning that the Astros have released Brett Wallace.

For realz:

Back when the Astros flipped Anthony Gose to Toronto for Wallace, we said - naively - "Looks like the Astros got their 1B of the future!"

Keith Law wrote at the time:
He's twice as valuable a prospect as Gose. Despite concerns over his lateral mobility, he's a capable first baseman who will hit for average, get on base and have enough power to be an above-average or better player there.

Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos said:
We thought long and hard about this. We tried to find ways to make this trade without including Brett Wallace, but the Astros were pretty adamant that Brett was going to need to be part of this, and we ultimately made the decision. We felt this was the right move for us.

Wallace debuted in 2008, hitting .337/.427/.530 between Low-A Quad Cities and Double-A Springfield, earning him a #40 prospect ranking from Baseball America and a #37 ranking from Baseball Prospectus. He followed that up with a .293/.367/.455 line between Springfield, Triple-A Memphis, and Triple-A Sacramento after he was traded to Oakland in the Matt Holliday deal. Wallace jumped to #27 in BA's Top 100 prior to 2010. Traded to Toronto in the Michael Taylor deal, Wallace hit .301/.359/.509 for Triple-A Las Vegas.

And then he came to Houston. In 51 games at the end of the 2010 season, Wallace hit .222/.296/.319 for the Astros. He showed flashes of the player he was in the minors and got multiple chances to prove himself. In April 2011, Wallace started the season hitting .388/.458/.529, and then didn't have an OPS over .800 in any month for the rest of the season. In August 2012, he hit .287/.344/.483 with four homers, and then followed that up with a .608 OPS in September.

2013 happened. He opened the season on a 1x24 stretch with 17 strikeouts (22 of his first 46 PAs of the season ended with him walking back to the dugout with a blank, dazed look in his eyes). When Wallace came back from OKC, he hit 11 homers in July and August, but collapsed again in September. In parts of four seasons (1077 PAs), Wallace hit .242/.313/.391 with 318 strikeouts, 80 walks, and 29 home runs for the Astros. This was a make-or-break Spring for Brett Wallace. We like to say that Spring Training doesn't matter, unless it does. That Wallace was 2x14 with eight strikeouts in eight games this month meant that the Astros had to pull the plug on Wallace.

Wallace's legacy - for me (it may be something else for you) - is that sometimes can't-miss prospects miss. Acquiring Wallace was one of the jewels of Ed Wade's tenure. Maybe it's my own fault for thinking that Wallace was the 1B heir to Jeff Bagwell - not as good, of course, but the guy who would be at first for the next ten to fifteen years. You won't find anyone who thought that this is how Brett Wallace's Houston story would end.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Richard Justice is going to be heartbroken... Guys that strikeout are his favorite kinda players; "Great clubhouse guys."

As for Brett, just couldn't hit big league pitching. And I'm pretty sure he struck out so much that he forgot where 1st base is.

This move should have happened a long time ago. Glad the Astros finally cut bait.

Vbpepper said...

Brett's downfall was directly related to Brad Mills. He destroyed the young man. Hope he succeeds elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm really surprised. I knew the whole "make or break" thing. I get it. But I just wasn't expecting this to happen so quickly..

God said...


Anonymous said...

If the Astros could play against him everyday, even our pitchers would set strikeout records and win Cy Young's.

He blew!

Go swing and miss somewhere else! I hope he ends up a Met!

Ted said...

Brett always looked worse than he actually was. His hitting line is no better or worse than a lot of players clinging to MLB careers, yet his persona always suggested he was out of his depth. Josh Donaldson, to pick a random example, had a worse OPS in 300 AB in 2012 than Wallace before he exploded in 2013.

My guess is we'll see Wallace bounce around major league rosters for the next 6-7 years.

John Rowell AKA ntxlfty said...

Personally, I think it takes a real A-hole to insult somebody anonymously. At least give a screen name. For all of you having such a good time with this: Brett Wallace is a better baseball player, and person, than you. I'm sorry he didn't work out. He literally did every single thing the organization wanted him to do to stay in the majors. It just didn't work. I hope he has success wherever he goes.

Reuben said...

John Rowell has the right idea. Why kick the guy on his way out the door? Baseball is extremely hard; Wallace tried his best to be the All-Star we all wanted him to be but it just didn't happen. No reason we should hate him or taunt him when he's just been released, which I'm sure feels shitty enough.

Good luck, Brett.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, Mr. Luhnow but what you say is just not true. Brett Wallace has not been a big part of this organization for the past few years, unless you mean that he contributed greatly to the most losses of any team the last three years. I am getting so tired of the BS. Who in the world contibutes greatly to a team that cannot win even 60 of it's 162 games? 1oldpro

ntxlfty said...

Thank you Reuben. John

Anonymous said...

Wallace was my boy, but I guess it just wasn't in the cardz. Don't sign with the Strangers, Cardinals, or Cubz and i'll still be a fan.