With the thirteenth overall pick in the 2008 First Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected third baseman Brett Wallace out of Arizona State University. Wallace is the reigning two-time Pac 10 Player of the Year. The switch-hitter is also a finalist for the Golden Spikes award, given annually to the top college player. The Sun Devil website lists him at 6-1 and 245 pounds.
During the 2008 season, he leads the Pac-10 in the Triple Crown categories with a batting average of .414, home runs with 21, and RBIs with 81. The year old has a .531on base percentage and a slugging percentage of .762. In 227 at bats, the Sun Devil drew 45 walks compared to 31 strikeouts. Also, he is not afraid to "Take one for the team" as he was hit by a pitch 14 times. In the field, the third baseman boasted a .930 fielding percentage making 10 errors this season.
Last summer he played for Team USA during the summer, winning a silver medal in the Pan-Am Games. Wallace was second on the team with a .312 average in 29 games while blasting two home runs and totaling 26 RBI.
During 2007, he was also the Pac-10's Triple Crown winner and Player of the Year. He finished the season with a .404 average, 16 home runs and 78 RBIs. Named a consensus First Team All-American, earning the distinction from Baseball America, NCBWA, Rivals.com and Collegiate Baseball.
Scouts believe that Wallace is capable of being a player that could average hitting .300 with 25 home runs. With a smooth lefty stroke, he has above average bat speed and plate discipline. With above average power, the polished hitter has the ability to hit the ball over the fence to all fields. In the field, he has limited range but soft hands and above average arm strength.
On the negative side, scouts question if his body type will allow him play anywhere but first base. To get a feel for his body type, he is nicknamed the "Walrus." Though a thick-bodied player, he does not clog up the basepaths as witnessed by being 16-20 in stolen base attempts. Another telling sign is that even though he is an above average hitter with good power, he did not hit into too many double plays, eight for the whole season. He has good base running instincts similar to another big-bodied player, Albert Pujols.
On the ESPN broadcast, Keith Law considered him the best college hitter in this draft. . Baseball America rated him as the best pure college hitter in the draft and the number two hitter in strike-zone judgment.
Originally, he was drafted in the 42nd round of the 2005 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
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