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Reds Trade Evaluation: Chad Wallach, C

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A player you may have written off as a scrub, but should reconsider.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony DeSclafani was considered the prize of the Mat Latos trade, which makes sense because he looks to win a spot in the starting rotation in 2015.  A player that isn't getting much respect is Chad Wallach, a catcher, and former fifth round pick out of Cal State Fullerton.

The Wallach name may be one you have heard before.  Chad is the third son of Major League All Star Tim Wallach, and a brother of two other minor league players.  His brothers never made the majors.  If you remember, Tim was a 5 time All Star, won 3 gold gloves, and 2 silver sluggers while playing third base for the Montreal Expos.  He also played for the Dodgers and the Angels during his 16 year major league career.  Tim would accumulate 38.3 bWAR during his career.

Chad Wallach really wasn't a big name player at Cal Fullerton until his junior year, the first one where he would hit above .300.  He would hit .309/.395/.444 for Fullerton that year, catching the eyes of scouts.  The Miami Marlins would then take him as the 5th round pick in the 2013 draft, a high pick for a guy that never showed high college numbers before.  However, if you can find a catcher that can hit you run with it.

Wallach would immediately be placed at Batavia in the New York-Pennsylvania League at the A- level.  He struggled with a .226/.294/.267.  The next year he started at A level Greensboro where he started to take off.  In 330 PA's he hit .322/.431/.457.  He did something he didn't show the year before, and not really in college, which was hit for some decent power.  He ended up hitting 7 home runs, 22 doubles, and 1 triple for a 135 ISO.  He would earn a promotion to A+ Jupiter where he hit .328/.426/.375.  Obviously, the power wasn't there with the trip to Jupiter, but it was only in 78 PA's.

What catches my eye the most about Wallach is the plate discipline he showed in 2014.  He has never seemed to be a guy that chases, but will take what the pitcher will give him.  That is what you need to do when you have what looks to be limited power.  In 2014, Wallach walked 62 times and struck out 46 times.  At both levels, he had a BB% above 15%.  That is damn good stuff.  He may have benefited from a BABIP above .350 in 2014, but that still doesn't account for his excellent walk numbers.

Wallach did play in the Arizona Fall League, which is kind of a big promotion for a guy that never played above A ball.  He would struggle mightily in the AFL.  It's hard to find a whole lot else on what Wallach can do on the field.  He isn't a highly rated prospect by any means, and didn't make the Marlins top 20 prospects.  He won't make the Reds top 20 prospects, either, but I'd be willing to give him an outside shot because of his plate discipline and position.  He should start at AA at the age of 23, which isn't super old by any means for a catcher.  By all accounts he is a Ryan Hanigan type player without the defensive accolades.  You could also think of him as the opposite of Tucker Barnhart, who is all defense and no stick.