Brett Wallace can hit – fastballs, curveballs, changeups, oranges, grapefruit, pinatas…you get the idea.
So, the obvious question is: why don’t most of the projection lists have him as a top 10 talent? I wondered the same thing – more specifically, why is there a feeling that Smoak, Hosmer, and Alonso are better 1B prospects?
Here are a few things:
- Some do view him as a top 10 talent: Keith Law says this: “for me, Wallace is a top 10 talent. Whether the teams drafting there see him as such is another question, but I wouldn’t hesitate to take him very high. He’s going to hit.”
- Law gives this report: perhaps the best pure hitter in this year’s draft. Wallace, a left-handed hitter, brings a great swing, a good eye and above-average power to the table. He keeps his weight back and whips the bat through the zone, squaring up balls everywhere in the zone, showing only a weakness for the high pitch. He shows plus raw power in BP, though in the game he’s more apt to drive balls middle-out to the left-center gap.
- Something I feel Law leaves out here is the tremendous balance Wallace has in his swing…he uses those tree trunk legs as a great base to his swing.
- There is another knock on Wallace about his body. While I have not seen him in underwear or modeling jeans, he is definitely not fat. His lower body is extremely muscular.
- There is a problem with his height: he is already 240 pounds at 6’1. That is fine, however, he has nowhere to go but out, which would decrease flexibility. So, he does not have a lot of room to increase muscle…so that hurts his projection compared to Smoak and Hosmer.
- I asked Jim Callis this question in his EPSN chat:
Jonathan (GA): Jim, I have read/heard that Brett Wallace does not have the power potential that Smoak does…from the USA games and his college numbers, how are questions about his power justified? Is it because his body is essentially maxed out?
Jim Callis: Wallace is having a great year, batting .448 with seven homers in 18 games. But it’s not all about the numbers, especially in college baseball, where the competition varies and they’re using metal bats. Scouts believe Wallace has more of a line-drive swing than a true power stroke, and if he plays first base (like they expect he will), that’s somewhat of an issue. That said, it’s not like scouts don’t like Wallace a lot. At worst, I think he’s a sandwich-round pick in June, and that’s at worst.
- The consensus seems to be that Wallace is more of a linedrive hitter who will hit for average..from the video I have seen, I would agree. However, his bat speed is above average, so it is not as if he cannot hit HR, it is more that he would need to add loft to his swing.
I am with Callis, he isn’t going to be a top 10 pick. If he could stay at 3B his value would increase, so he is a 1B who could hit for well over .300, but what is his power output?? With the embarrassment of riches at the 1B position this June, I think teams will go for pitching or other positions…knowing they can potentially still get Wallace or Dykstra in the supp. round.
However, call me crazy, but the Rockies may be in play here with the 25th pick. Seems like a good fit…inexpensive, and they will have a need at 1B eventually. If not, he will be gone early in the supp. round.
Let me say this, IF he can stay at 3B, I cannot imagine why he would last past 15. He would immediately be one of the best 3B in the minors (not defensively). Originally, there was no chance he could stay at 3B…there seems to be some rumblings that suggest a team would try it. However, you don’t want to draft him high just to “try” him at 3B..you need to be pretty convinced. That remains to be seen.
Video: Couldn’t find youtube video..I went to the Team USA website and wacthed a few of the summer games agaist Japan and the Netherlands.