April 28, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) connects for an RBI base hit against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
(The Chirp) -- The original idea behind "The Chirp" is to offer this space as a platform for inspiring sports writers. Today's offering comes from Sam Clancy of Webster University.
Holliday and Wallace cross paths again
The last time you could put Matt Holliday and Brett Wallace in the same sentence was 2009 when they were the centerpieces in the blockbuster deal of the deadline.
Since then, the former Cardinals prospect and current Cardinals star have taken very different paths to their DH roles in last night's contest.
After being traded to the Oakland Athletics for Holliday at the deadline 4 years ago, Wallace played out the rest of the season in triple A for the Sacramento River Cats, the Oakland A's affiliate. Hitting 15 home runs and posting an on-base percentage of over .350 in your first year of Pacific Coast League play is a recipe for success, but Oakland performed a rarity in baseball, a prospect-for-prospect swap.
The A's sent Wallace, the number 27 prospect according to Baseball America's 2009 list, to Toronto for Michael Taylor, number 29 on the same list.
After hitting .302 for the triple A affiliate of the Blue Jays, Wallace was again swapped for a prospect when he was sent to Houston for outfield prospect Anthony Gose at the 2010 trade deadline.
After being acquired in 2010, Wallace was called immediately up to the bigs, where he hit an underwhelming .222 with just 2 home runs and 13 RBIs in 51 games with the Astros. Since then, Wallace has bounced back and forth between triple A and the majors due to his performance.
His minor league stats have been nothing short of fantastic, a .333 batting average 28 home runs and 118 RBIs in 173 games. His major league stats, on the other hand, have not. If his stats were averaged to a 162 game MLB season, Wallace would be hitting .243 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs.
The Matt Holliday route to last night's game will be noticeably shorter because his consistency kept him on a straight line path to success. During his 2009 Cardinals campaign, Holliday hit .353 with 13 home runs and 59 RBIs in just 63 games, helping the Cardinals run away from their central division foes, expanding their lead by 6 games and punching their playoff ticket.
His dropped fly ball in the division series of 2009 kept him from becoming a fan favorite in his first season, but Holliday's continued production has kept his bat as the only constant in an oft-changing Cardinals lineup.
His slumping bat was bumped to the 5 spot last night but, when you can look across the diamond at Brett Wallace and his .071 batting average, Cardinals fans should be ecstatic with the last 4 years of baseball from their left fielder and the fleecing they put on the Oakland Athletics in July of 2009.