Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Astros' Wallace Keeps Bouncing Back

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Astros' Wallace Keeps Bouncing Back

Article excerpt

It's hard to keep your confidence high when you start the season hitting .042, stuck in a 0-for-20 slump, striking out 17 times in only seven games.

That's the situation Houston Astros corner infielder Brett Wallace found himself in at the start of the 2013 season. The former top prospect for the Cardinals who was once traded for Matt Holliday had been struggling to find consistent success in the majors, so on April 18, the Astros made a decision.

Send Wallace to the minors to get his confidence back.

"There's different ways to look at it," Wallace said. "One way is to sulk, and put your head down and feel bad for yourself. Or you can keep your head up and keep working hard."

It would be easy for Wallace to sulk; he's been surrounded by high expectations his entire career. He was selected 13th overall by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2008 draft and was almost immediately pegged as the best hitting prospect in the organization. He appeared in the 2009 Futures Game in St. Louis but was traded to the Oakland A's later that month as the key prospect in return for Holliday. It was the first of three trades Wallace would be a part of before his 24th birthday.

While in the minors, Wallace tears the cover off of the ball. But in the majors, he tends to struggle.

From 2010-2012, he hit .250 with 214 strikeouts in 232 games with the Astros, switching back and forth between the minors in all three years. At the beginning of his fourth season as a major leaguer, Wallace was in one of the worst slumps of his career as he headed back to Triple-A Oklahoma City to fix the problem.

"In the beginning of the year, obviously it didn't start out as well as he would have liked, and as we would have liked," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "I just felt that (Wallace's) confidence level just continued to go down. We sent him to Oklahoma City, and we told him that's one of the things we wanted him to work on."

Tuesday, hours before the Cardinals faced the Astros for a two- game series, Wallace stood by his locker. …

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