Catcher makes big league

The time has come for UH baseball player Chris Wallace to take the next step.  Last month, Wallace was selected by the Astros in the 16th round at No. 483 overall in the 2010 MLB draft, something Wallace did not expect.

“I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen,” Wallace said.  “I thought I was going to be drafted in the later rounds, so when I was taken in the 16th round, it was really a surprise because I didn’t think I would be taken that early.”

The 22-year-old catcher parted with the Cougars after sitting behind the plate for four years and leading the team in the 2010 season with 10 homeruns.  By the end of his tenure at UH, he averaged .291 at the plate with a number of accolades.

Wallace was born in Pasadena and attended CY-Fair High School before coming to UH.  He said that he was extremely happy slugging for his hometown organization.

“I grew up watching the Astros and I have always wanted to play for them,” he said.  “Now I have that opportunity, and it’s a dream come true.”

Wallace said that UH prepared him for this moment through mental toughness.  He said that the hardest part about playing for a professional team is getting used to the schedule.

“It’s really just a huge step playing everyday,” he said.  “You really have to be there mentally, but if you have a bad game you get a chance to play again the next day.”

The Greeneville Astros, a farm league team located in Tennessee, was interested in Wallace and are pleased to have him, says assistant general manager Hunter Reed.  Wallace has just begun the 2010 season making his presence known batting .268 with three homeruns.

Six other Cougars were chosen in the 2010 draft, including shortstop Blake Kelso in the 10th round and pitcher Michael Goodnight in the 13th round.  Kelso reported to the Vermont Lake Monsters in the New York Penn-League, a Washington Nationals farm team.  Goodnight has until August 16 to make his decision to sign with a team or remain with the Cougars.

Other draftees include left-handed pitchers Ty Stuckey, taken by the Cincinnati Reds, and William Kankel taken by the Milwaukee Brewers.  The Minnesota Twins acquired right-hander Jared Ray.

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