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Astros release one-time top prospect Brett Wallace

Mar 12, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

Brett Wallace AP

Brett Wallace, who ranked as one of Baseball America‘s top 40 prospects in back-to-back seasons as a minor leaguer, has been released by the Astros after hitting just .242 with a .704 OPS in 311 games through age 26.

At one point Wallace looked like a good-hitting third baseman, but his defense required a shift to first base and his bat simply never developed enough for him to be an asset there. As a prospect he was a major piece in three big trades–including being the centerpiece of the Cardinals-A’s deal for Matt Holliday–but when exposed to the waiver wire by the Astros recently he passed through after going unclaimed by all 29 other teams.

Wallace could latch on somewhere as a bench player, but if not he’ll sign a minor-league deal and head back to Triple-A for a sixth season after hitting .308 with an .875 OPS in 375 games already.

  1. proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Being released by Houston is equivalent to hitting rock bottom.

    • stex52 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Perhaps, PC. But when one considers that he was one-on-one with the Jays for Anthony Gose, we all get a little mud on us, don’t we?

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        Gose might still become the 4th outfielder for the Jays this season. He is still in Toronto’s long term plans.

      • stex52 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        I know, PC. But you must admit for a couple of star prospects, neither looks like much.

        Wallace was cut because there are actually better prospects on the horizon.

      • jwbiii - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        And the Astros picked up Jonathan Singleton’s contract last fall, so no more worries about weed busts.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        Gose is still young (23), but he hasn’t improved at all at the plate, K rate is really high for a guy with no power, and his plate discipline dove off a cliff last year…not that it couldn’t come back, but whatever change he made to his approach didn’t have a positive effect. At least Gose is fast, he has some value on the bases (when he manages to get there) and can play some average-ish CF D.

      • yahmule - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Gose actually looks like an athlete. There’s one advantage.

      • canadiansportsfan77 - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        Sorry PC, but Gose isn’t in the Jays long term plans unless its to be a 4th OF. Just like Wallace being released because of better prospects taking over, Gose is heading towards the same fate either next year or the year after.

        Both guys have turned out to be busts.

  2. chacochicken - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Looks like Pittsburgh just found that nickel cheap lefty platoon mate for Gaby.

    • metroplexsouthsider - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      That’s a possible landing point on the cheap, yes.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Does he pass the “better than Russ Canzler” test for the Yankees? Not sure…

  4. thekingdave - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    @proudlycanadian

    Good one. Meanwhile the Jays’ playoff drought stands at what, 20 seasons?

    • alang3131982 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      cant he just easily respond and ask teh last time the Stros won the world series? i mean who cares? It’s pretty clear teh Astros are one of the worst teams in baseball for now. so what? it’s more a comment on Wallace than Houston

  5. thekingdave - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    You’re right, he could ask teh last time the Astros won the WS or point out that teh Astros are one of the worst teams in baseball. I had not even considered that possibility, talk about one upping me LOL! I’m almost done with my spring semester and thought I was now smart enough to show my face here again. Thanks alang for shattering my dreams into a million pieces.

    • stex52 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Relax, Dave. No big deal. Dish it out, take it. It’s all part of the game. Astros will be better this year.

      • yahmule - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        How are Springer and Villar looking this spring, Stex?

      • stex52 - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        Springer has already been reassigned to the Minors. I expected a big splash, but he was about a .444 OPS in 20 AB. I think they had their minds half made up when he got there. The good news is he walked 6 times. For a guy who strikes out a lot that is a good sign.

        I’m not sure of Villar’s numbers to date, but he is a pretty sure lock to start at SS for this year.

      • stex52 - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:05 PM

        I checked, Yah. At this point in the spring Villar is carrying a .869 OPS. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that will not hold. :-) He is there more for the glove, although everyone expects an uptick in offense this year.

      • yahmule - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:38 AM

        Thanks, Stex. George took the pressure off them to keep him up. I hope we see him before June 1st.

  6. mb34 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Folks, don’t forget that the last time the Astros’ farm system was voted best in the Majors, three years later, they were in the World Series.

    I’m predicting it here today…
    The Astros will be in the World Series within 5 years now that Nolan has taken on a role there along with Reid Ryan.

  7. thepittsburghkid - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    If we sign him he’s AAA depth. There is no way he starts for us, we are going to give Lambo the opportunity to show if he has it.

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