November 5, 2008

Wallace comfortable in AZ



4thebirds...
... If you were in charge of the Cardinals' minor league development, where would you want Brett Wallace to play defense? If you had your druthers, that is?

Given he is more of an infielder at this point, and with the idea that the corners are going to fit Wallace best, the Cards' seem to want to really find out if he can handle the hot corner.

Makes sense, but doesn't make things easy for the Cardinals. First base, held by Albert Pujols, is not likely to open up soon. At the same time, if Wallace does work out to the Cards' liking at third base, what of Troy Glaus?

Wallace has expressed that he could play left field, but the Cardinals' got plenty of outfielders as well.

If only Wallace was a middle infielder.

Tony La Russa probably isn't worried over outfielding in St. Louis anyway. Should he run out for some reason, he simply picks an infielder and point to the outer gardens. (If you don't believe me, ask Aaron Miles, who played all three outfield positions for the first time as a major leaguer this past season.)

There's more minor league third basemen in the pipeline.

So it looks as if somewhere down the line there could be a deal made on Glaus, but there's no way the Cardinals should try to move him now, when he has settled in so nicely, hitting his weight (and height, too), not to mention that he's beyond the best as far as fielding goes.

But this about how well Wallace is doing in the Arizona Fall League. The article at the link below gives the current numbers on the guy, and he has drawn extra media attention (for the fall league level) due a recent outstanding performance at the plate, a six-RBI game, which can turn heads all the way down to the youth league levels.

There are other Cardinals on the Peoria Saguaros, and the linked report goes into some decent detail on all of them, even if they aren't Brett Wallace, which is really refreshing. To wit: Justin Fiske, Shane Robinson, Steven Hill, Adam Ottavino, Brad Furnish, Tyler Norrick, and Tyler Greene.

photo by Barbara Moore

Wallace confidently handling the heat MLB.com: News: "He's also played a solid third base, committing only one error in 28 chances. Wallace committed six errors in 126 combined chances during the regular season.

'The thing we're more impressed with is the fact that he's been better than we expected defensively,' Vuch said. 'He has an unusual throwing motion, but he has arm strength. He doesn't look like your prototypical third baseman, but he has first-step quickness and his hands work. We knew he was going to hit, but the thing we're pleased about is what he's shown so far defensively.'"