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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Astros release Brett Wallace

KISSIMMEE, Fla.—The Houston Astros gave infielder Brett Wallace his unconditional release on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Wallace played with the Astros for four years, mostly at first base and also at third base. He played in 79 games last season, batting .221 with 13 home runs. In eight games this spring, Wallace was 2-for-14 with eight strikeouts.

That leaves first basemen Chris Carter and rookie Jon Singleton on the roster. The Astros have 51 players remaining in camp, including 16 non-roster invitees.

Catcher Jason Castro is the only player on the current roster who has been with the Astros continuously longer than Wallace.

What teams need an ‘upgrade’ at 1B??  How many of them would consider Wallace an upgrade….I can think of only one team!

attaboy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:43 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, general

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   1. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4670779)
What teams need an ‘upgrade’ at 1B?? How many of them would consider Wallace an upgrade….I can think of only one team!

He started 8 games at 3B last year, too...
   2. Davo Dozier Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4670784)
"Released by the Astros"...Yeah, that's a good sign that you just don't belong in the Major Leagues.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4670800)
What teams need an ‘upgrade’ at 1B?? How many of them would consider Wallace an upgrade….I can think of only one team!


He would almost maybe sort-of make sense for the Pirates, as a platoon partner for Gaby Sanchez if Andrew Lambo falls flat on his face. I don't know that he's any better than Chris McGuiness or Travis Ishikawa, but I don't know that he's any worse, either.
   4. zonk Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4670801)
Considering he was the centerpiece of the Matt Holliday trade, then got traded for Michael Choice and then Anthony Gose (both of whom were well-regarded prospects at the time) - I guess I'm not the only one, but I always thought Wallace would turn into a pretty good hitter....

If he could actually play an above average 3B -- his 245/316/404 (96 OPS+) over the last 3 seasons might get him a part-timer/fill-in job somewhere on a bad team, but like folks have said - if the Astros release you, you probably need to find other work.

I suspect someone will give him a shot at being org fodder -- he's still "just" 27... but he definitely goes into the pile of Guys I Thought Could Hit but Really Really Can't.
   5. attaboy Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4670806)
My assumption is that the Mets could use him. Better upside than Duda (and a better fielder) and healthier than Ike with a better chance of attaining a certain level of play during each month of the year.
   6. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4670823)
My assumption is that the Mets could use him. Better upside than Duda (and a better fielder)


I'd buy better fielder (who isn't?)
But what evidence is there that's he's got more upside as a hitter?

Duda has handily outhit him in the majors, and Duda has hit .301/.389/.541 in AAA (90% of that in the IL, so he;s been about 200 better than league in OPS)
Wallace has hit .308/.375/.500 in AAA, (all PCL- so his OPS is about 110 above league)

Duda is just a better hitter
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4670824)
My assumption is that the Mets could use him. Better upside than Duda (and a better fielder)


I know which of those guys I'd rather have. It ain't Wallace, and it ain't particularly close, either.
   8. spycake Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4670863)
Really, Wallace is not unlike Trevor Plouffe in Minnesota. At least until Wallace became an ultra-high K rate hitter last year. Wallace was consitently better in the minors too.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4670866)
Players on Astros active roster (out of 35) who…

played for the Astros in 2010: 1 - Jason Castro
played for the Astros in 2011: 3 - Carlos Corporan, Jose Altuve, Lucas Harrell
played for the Astros in 2012: 7 - Castro, Corporan, Altuve, Harrell, Dallas Keuchel, Matt Dominguez, Marwin Gonzalez
   10. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4670867)
If Wallace could play an above average third base, he'd be a reasonable MLB starter, not a part-timer/fill-in guy. Of course, he can't.
   11. Davo Dozier Posted: March 13, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4670876)
Really, Wallace is not unlike Trevor Plouffe in Minnesota.
Minus those six weeks in 2012 when Trevor Plouffe became Mike Schmidt: .295/.346/.711, 18 homers in 38 games.

He'll just keep getting opportunities because of that stretch.
   12. DEF: hates freedom Posted: March 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4670882)
Wallace strikes me as the type of guy the A's have been taking chances on in recent years - former top prospect, decent minor league numbers but mediocre to bad major league numbers, some flaws in his game (can't hit LHP, not much defensive value). I don't think the A's need Wallace, but wouldn't be surprised to see them give him a shot.
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4670890)
The A's didn't like him when they traded him for Michael Taylor, but now I guess he's proven that he's better than Michael Taylor, so...
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4670896)
Really, Wallace is not unlike Trevor Plouffe in Minnesota.


Plouffe is a bad defender, but he's at least capable of being a bad defender at a bunch of different positions, if you need him to fill a hole. That gives him a leg up on Wallace.

If you need a comp for Plouffe, maybe a right-handed Rob Mackowiak?
   15. attaboy Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4670906)
Wallace was a huge prospect, traded for a top player (to back up the prospect status) and has not delivered in the Majors. My understanding was his defense was good, however, reviewing his numbers, they seem to indicate that his rep was warranted early in his career. Most defenders prime are early in their careers but I wouldn't think that true for 1B as much. Of course, you have to note the small sample size as he barely gets 30% of a season at 1B. I'd still like to see what he has for myself and feel frustrated by Ike and Duda.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4670917)
then got traded for Michael Choice and then Anthony Gose (both of whom were well-regarded prospects at the time) - I guess I'm not the only one, but I always thought Wallace would turn into a pretty good hitter....


I always grouped Wallace together in my mind with David Cooper, who IIRC was in the same draft. Wallace turned out much better than Cooper.
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4670925)
every time I saw Wallace he reminded me of Antone Williamson. for those not familiar he was a failed number one pick of the brewers back in the 90's. big hitter in college with a soft body who couldn't hit a lick in the pros. the brewers knew they were in trouble when he hit all of 30 doubles and 7 homers at el paso. el paso was a hitters paradise so Williamson not hitting for any type of power was a huge disappointment. that and he had this roll around the middle which is fine if you are 45 and a desk jockey.

Wallace was better in the minors than williamson but never did light up any leagues along the way so it kind of correlates in that yes he was better than the brewers bust and so managed to hang around in the majors a few years as the team waited for him to do something. but it just delayed the inevitable. he can't hit enough to keep a job.
   18. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4670927)
I'd still like to see what he has for myself and feel frustrated by Ike and Duda.


If you're frustrated by Ike and Duda adding Wallace to that mix is pure masochism- there's no evidence (past 5 years) that Wallace is as "good" as they are.


   19. spycake Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4670933)
I guess I was also thinking how Plouffe and Wallace are 2 months apart in age, and were both 1st round picks (although Plouffe was out of HS and was selected lower).

They also seemed similar MLB players for awhile -- questionable defense corner guys (although Plouffe started out as a SS), low-ish average, a few HR, adding up to ~100 OPS+. As I said, Wallace was the better hitter in the minors (at least until Plouffe repeated AAA for the ~4th time). Plouffe did have a brief HR binge in 2012, that has boosted him.

Ultimately, Plouffe did not see a massive K rate spike last year, and he looks normal this spring, as opposed to Wallace's recent trends. Just thought they were two interesting examples of winding career paths, that's all.
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4670935)
I guess what lent me pause about Wallace was how he reminded me of the kid described above and after the season he had in vegas where a guy I considered no prospect (jp arencibia) outhit him by a good measure. Wallace slugged .509 while arencibia slugged over .600 and when I saw jp play in the minors he swung his bat like someone being attacked by bees.

it caused me to wonder how good he really could be
   21. Greg K Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4670940)
I guess what lent me pause about Wallace was how he reminded me of the kid described above and after the season he had in vegas where a guy I considered no prospect (jp arencibia) outhit him by a good measure. Wallace slugged .509 while arencibia slugged over .600 and when I saw jp play in the minors he swung his bat like someone being attacked by bees.

Well to be fair Arencibia was the Baseball America #49 prospect in baseball in 2009, while Wallace was #40. Arencibia had a down season that year while Wallace hit ok and moved up to #27 when the two were team-mates in 2010.

Of course, it was pretty disappointing as a Jays fan to see what Wallace did in Las Vegas that year. Arencibia is a pretty awful hitter, but when it comes to power he isn't chopped liver. He's hit 23, 18, and 21 home runs at the major league level. There's no shame in being out-slugged by him.

EDIT: Just now realizing I have slightly misread your post. I didn't catch the first time through that YOU considered him no prospect. Thought you were saying he generally wasn't viewed as one. Though I'd argue a catcher with that kind of power is at least worth taking a chance on, even if he's bad at everything else.
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4670945)
greg

I have little faith in guys who have the combination of incredibly violent swing and lots of strikeouts. I am sure folks here can find exceptions but as a rule for me major league pitchers exploit that pretty easily.
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4670948)
greg

and not to pile on but it is vegas. I just had a crude idea in my head that a guy like Wallace who was in his early 20's and a top prospect should be killing the ball in vegas. slugging .500 just didn't read as all that and a bag of chips.

   24. The District Attorney Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4670950)
Wallace strikes me as the type of guy the A's have been taking chances on in recent years - former top prospect, decent minor league numbers but mediocre to bad major league numbers, some flaws in his game (can't hit LHP, not much defensive value).
The Mariners also seem to be getting into the "post-hype sleeper" game, but the last thing they need is another corner infielder.

Although it's disappointing when a top-40ish prospect doesn't work out, it's not really surprising either. It happens as often as not.

If you want a real prospect flop, let's talk Andy Marte. (If Wallace's next two seasons are better than "606 OPS at Indianapolis" and "out of baseball", he will continue to lap Marte around the track. Or if he just, y'know, retires right now.)
   25. Greg K Posted: March 13, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4670953)
and not to pile on but it is vegas. I just had a crude idea in my head that a guy like Wallace who was in his early 20's and a top prospect should be killing the ball in vegas. slugging .500 just didn't read as all that and a bag of chips.

Oh yeah, I certainly wouldn't disagree with that. As I mentioned, Wallace's season in the Jays system was hugely disappointing. We all expected much better than that in Vegas. It was more your characterization of Arencibia I was mildly surprised by. And emphasize the "mild". Arencibia is by no means a good, or everyday player.

   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4670954)
<blockquote>I have little faith in guys who have the combination of incredibly violent swing and lots of strikeouts. I am sure folks here can find exceptions but as a rule for me major league pitchers exploit that pretty easily.
<?blockquote>

Pedro Cerrano.
   27. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4671002)
I know which of those guys I'd rather have. It ain't Wallace, and it ain't particularly close, either.


I would concur. One of them -- not Wallace, it would seem -- is an actual major league baseball player.
   28. JJ1986 Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4671008)
Duda, as a platoon 1B or DH is a perfectly adequate major league player. His value is low because he's a terrible outfielder on a team with another LHH 1B. Wallace would have been a nice PH/ICOE-3B when teams carried 6 or 7 man benches. Now he'd be best served by becoming a regular in Korea.
   29. attaboy Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4671009)
If you're frustrated by Ike and Duda adding Wallace to that mix is pure masochism- there's no evidence (past 5 years) that Wallace is as "good" as they are.

Ah, in case it is not already obvious, I am a mets fan so my tendencies towards masochism isn't a huge surprise, is it?
   30. attaboy Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4671011)
Duda - I don't think you are a 90 win team playing a Duda at 1B
Davis - I'd love for him to hit for an entire year but his history is that he won't. If he repeats his dead bat imitation this spring, I am all for getting rid of him. Understand, he isn't just not good for 2-3 months, he is among the worst players at a top hitting position in the game! Unless Satin is the answer (we all know he isn't), I'd keep Wallace around and hope to draft something worthwhile but until that materializes, I'll keep Wallace on hand.
   31. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4671031)
I have little faith in guys who have the combination of incredibly violent swing and lots of strikeouts.


then you're gonna luuuuv Joey Gallo
   32. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4671042)
Unless Satin is the answer (we all know he isn't), I'd keep Wallace around and hope to draft something worthwhile but until that materializes, I'll keep Wallace on hand.


What for, he's even worse than Duda/Davis and then you get to Wilmer Flores (who is no 2b/ss) who's 6 years younger and hit .321/.357/.531 in the PCL last year.

Hell Travis Taijeron is 3 years younger and can probably match Wallace's bat- and he's in the org already

plus last years #1 pick was a 1B

We need a SS, any SS.

Sure they need a 1B who is better than Davis/Duda, but messing around with someone else's busted 1B "prospect" who's no better than they are is wheel spinning at its worst. (he was dropped by Houston for crissakes)
   33. attaboy Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4671078)
Yes, we need a SS but no one seems to be willing to drop one of these, lol! If they do, I might suggest we grab him. Until then, I will look for more high end potential than the Duda's of the world for my 1B. If Wallace doesn't work out, what have I lost? I like to use TB as my role model and will continue to do so. I don't pretend to have the knowledge of the scouts and professionals in TB and because I don't I am happy to throw out ideas that may look as if it is something they may do. Some players are dropped by bad teams and they get rebuilt by good franchises. If Wallace can be helped, let's have the Mets try rather than some of the other teams who seem to do this regularly.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4671107)
Some players are dropped by bad teams and they get rebuilt by good franchises.

If the Mets were one of these franchises, they would have built Ike Davis right the first time around.

And TB would be all over Ike Davis 1 second after the Mets released him.

Sheesh, folks, there was no bigger Ike Davis cynic than me when he was riding high and even I know he's better than Brett Wallace.

Harv in #22 -- agree but you can get away with that a lot easier at C (and theoretically SS) than at 1B. Even JP's hitting was perfectly adequate for the position in 2011-12 and (depending on his defense) I'd happily have him as a backup, maybe even half-timer. Even after the BA fell to the 240s, Tony Batista was a useful player as a good-fielding 3B -- he'd been a lot better as a SS hitting in the 260s with power of course. I guess I wouldn't describe Jose Hernandez's swing as "violent" but he had these sorts of results as well but combined with a slick glove at SS, he had his uses (and that excellent season for the Brewers). Heck, if Wily Mo Pena had been able to handle CF, he might have had a decent Tony Armas like career.

With Ks up, walks down, offense down I suspect we'll be seeing a number of guys putting up these sorts of 260/300/440 with 150 Ks performances -- power and decent defense will get you playing time right now. Few players will be combining high OBP (or at least what we think of as a high OBP) and power. As it's always been, at the defensive positions, you'll be happy if you can find one or the other in combo with defensive adequacy.

But that type of hitter in a defensively-limited player is a death sentence ... unless your name is Mark Reynolds apparently. :-)
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4671117)
ntil then, I will look for more high end potential than the Duda's of the world for my 1B.

How does Wallace have more "high end potential" than Duda? Duda's established he's an above average MLB hitter. He may not hit enough for 1B, but Wallace hasn't hit at all.

I'll take the guy with the 114 career OPS+ over the guy with the 93.
   36. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 13, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4671210)
Unathletic, schlubby bodied Quad-A player. That's what he's been for at least 3 years.
   37. bjhanke Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:43 AM (#4671296)
I don't generally rank ballplayers by what they look like, because I just don't know enough about that to make a comment. But back when the Cards had Wallace in the minors, I got to see a very few games, and I could not figure out for the love of God why anyone thought he would be a good MLB player. He just didn't look athletic enough. When I am the one who thinks that, it's not a good sign. I was totally floored when he produced so much in a trade. I ain't complaining, but I was surprized. - Brock Hanke
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4671331)
brock

when I saw Wallace he reminded me of joey meyer. for other readers joey meyer was a big guy for the brewers in the late 80's who had legit power but was listed at 260 but on most days was more like 290.

if meyer had kept his weight around 260 he could have played first base and I think been a guy who could have hit 30 odd homers for a few seasons (when 30 homers was a bigger deal) until like most big guys come age 31/32 his body went kaplooey.

I never got that sense from wallance
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4671397)

does this guy look like he can hit?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/371015234941?lpid=82

and who took his teeth?
   40. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4671408)
Until then, I will look for more high end potential than the Duda's of the world for my 1B.


Then you should be looking for someone NOT named Brett Wallace.

   41. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4671422)
If he can play 3B he'd be a good fit for the Yankees.

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