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Brett Wallace

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Brett Alexander Wallace

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Brett Wallace won a Triple Crown in one of the top college conferences in 2007 then made it to the majors three years later.

Brett Wallace.jpg

Wallace hit .464/.626/.889 in high school and was 5-0 with 8 saves. As a senior, he hit .520 with 40 RBI in 75 at-bats and was a Collegiate Baseball All-American. He was picked in the 42nd round of the 2005 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2006, the freshman hit .371 to finish 5th in the prestigious Pacific-10 Conference. He did not win Freshman of the Year honors as those went to Ike Davis. Wallace hit .248/.343/.400 for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod League and ranked 5th with 22 RBI.

In 2007, the left-handed batter led the Pac-10 in basically every category, winning a Triple Crown. He led in average (.404), slugging (.687), hits (107), runs (75), RBI (78), home runs (16) and total bases (182), was third in OBP (.484) and tied for 4th with 38 walks. He was named All-American at 1B by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, though the American Baseball Coaches Association picked Matt LaPorta instead. Wallace was named Pac-10 Player of the Year.

Wallace joined Team USA for the summer and hit .312, third on the team behind Josh Romanski and Pedro Alvarez, while alternating between the outfield and first base. He was 4 for 18 with a double and no walks in the 2007 Pan American Games as the US won Silver. He hit .200/.320/.200 in the 2007 World Port Tournament, splitting first base duties with Justin Smoak.

Wallace hit .410/.526/.753 with 22 homers, 87 runs and 83 RBI in 62 games as a junior and also stole 16 bases in 20 tries. He was chosen as the All-American third baseman by Baseball America.

The St. Louis Cardinals chose Wallace with the 13th overall pick of the 2008 amateur draft, two spots after Smoak. He was signed by scout Chuck Fick and made his minor league debut on July 2 for the Quad Cities River Bandits, going 0 for 2 with 2 walks. He hit .327/.418/.490 in 41 games for Quad Cities and was then promoted to AA, hitting .367/.456/.653 in 13 games for the Springfield Cardinals. Despite his short stay, he was ranked as the #5 prospect in the Midwest League by Baseball America, following Mike Moustakas, Neftali Feliz, Jarrod Parker and Ben Revere.

Wallace began 2009 back with Springfield and batted .281/.403/.438 in 32 games. Bumped up to the AAA Memphis Redbirds, he hit .293/.346/.423 in 62 contests. St. Louis then shipped him with Shane Peterson and Clayton Mortensen to the Oakland Athletics for Matt Holliday. He batted .302/.365/.505 for the Sacramento RiverCats after the trade. He totaled 20 homers between his three stops. Baseball America rated him the #5 Texas League prospect (behind Mat Latos, Justin Smoak, Chris Carter and Jhoulys Chacin) and #7 in the Pacific Coast League (behind Cameron Maybin and Alcides Escobar and ahead of Kyle Blanks and Smoak).

He was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays following the 2009 season, as they flipped one of the prospects they had acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies for Roy Halladay, Michael Taylor, to land Wallace on December 16, 2009. He spent the first four months of the 2010 season with AAA Las Vegas, where he hit .301 with 24 doubles and 18 homers in 95 games. On July 29, the Blue Jays sent him to the Houston Astros in return for outfield prospect Anthony Gose, whom the Astros had just obtained from the Phillies for their own ace, Roy Oswalt. When Houston traded starting 1B Lance Berkman to the New York Yankees the next day, Wallace was called up to take his place and made his major league debut on July 31, going 0 for 4 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

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