Once considered an elite prospect, Brett Wallace now has few lingering believers. The 2008 1st round pick has already been with four organizations, and is currently passing time in the Pacific Coast League at Oklahoma City, Triple-A affiliate of the Astros. Houston gave Wallace ample opportunity to prove his worth in 2011, but he effectively squandered the 350+ PA, posting a .259 AVG and a .110 ISO, which is pretty miserable coming from a 1B. During a brief stint in the bigs earlier this year, the 25-year-old was much improved, batting .333/.429/.583 in 42 PA. Granted, it’s a small sample, but it conjured memories of why we touted Wallace in the first place — outstanding plate coverage, lightning-quick hands, beautiful lefty stroke, advanced approach, power potential… the works, really, from a hitting perspective. Jeff Luhnow — Houston’s brilliant 1st-year GM, and the man who drafted Wallace in 2008 while handling player procurement for the Cardinals — recently acknowledged that the first baseman should resurface in the bigs before long, which is kind of an ambiguous timetable. Regardless, Wallace’s Triple-A production has been big of recent (.371/.476/.600 through last ten), and he could be useful in NL-Only and deep mixed formats should he return to Houston anytime soon.
Jean Segura | SS, Brewers – The Brewers earned a nice take in the Greinke swap with LA, most notably in shortstop prospect Jean Segura. Only half-a-season removed from A-ball, I’d be surprised if Milwaukee inserted him directly into their big league lineup. More likely, he takes over full-time next spring. If the Brewers choose to promote him sooner, however, his only immediate value will be on the basepaths.
John Hellweg | RHP, Brewers – Hellweg, a tall, power righty is another nice piece acquired for Greinke. I imagine he’ll require a bit more patience than Segura, though. He’s struggled with wildness throughout his career, and although he’s been better in that regard of recent, there’s still much development to take place. As a starter, his ceiling is that of #2 or #3. At worst, he’ll make for a nice high-leverage reliever.
Jacob Turner | RHP, Marlins – Miami acquired Turner in the Anibal Sanchez trade. He’ll get started with his new organization at the Triple-A level, but expect to see him back in the bigs later this year, and expect better contributions from the 21-year-old pitching in the spacious Marlins Park.
Taijuan Walker | RHP, Mariners – Walker has had an up-and-down year at Double-A, but he’s back on the upswing following his two most recent starts, during which he allowed only one run and seven hits while whiffing 11 through 12 IP. A strong finish to the year from the 19-year-old could place him at the top of many pitching prospect lists.
Trayce Thompson | OF, White Sox — He’s now collected 50 XBH (21 HR) in 449 PA at High-A. He’s also batting just .239 and he’s struck out 131 times. Seems he’s headed for Donkeytown if he can’t sort out that whiff situation.
Mike Olt | 3B, Rangers – Having homered four times in his last 49 PA, Olt is on yet another bomb binge. He’s up to 29 HR on the year, and the Rangers are reportedly doing their best to exclude him from trade negotiations as they seek starting pitching help.
Josh Vitters | 3B, Cubs – I’d pretty much written off Vitters after he failed to post an OPS north of .770 three straight years. 400+ PA into his first year at Triple-A, however, the 2007 1st rounder is batting .303/.355/.512 with 48 XBH (15 HR). He’s still unlikely to blossom into the stud the Cubs were hoping for when they drafted him 3rd overall, but I’m beginning to think he could make for a useful fantasy 3B in coming years.
Junior Lake | SS, Cubs – Cubs fans wondering why Javier Baez isn’t being promoted more aggressively can direct their attention toward Junior Lake. His last ten at Double-A: .354/.404/.646 with 3 HR and 12 RBI.
Dan Straily | RHP, Athletics – He’ll take the bump tonight for Sacramento (Saturday night, that is… because, you know, I’m gonna drink, like, nine bourbons tonight, and a post-game recap will not be comprehensible). Straily’s following outing could very well be with Oakland. He’s also included in the Javier Baez Scouting the Unknown post, so click the above link for more info on him.
Wil Myers | OF, Royals – Myers is amid a pretty brutal stretch: .133/.170/.244 with 19 whiffs in his last 47 PA. The #FreeWil campaign has subsided considerably over the past few weeks, and it’s becoming increasingly likely that we won’t see him ’til 2013.