Are the Cardinals smart for trading Brett Wallace and Zack Cox when they did, or dumb for drafting them in the first place? Wallace is out in Houston, of all places, after putting the finishing touches on his transformation from line-drive contact hitter to not-quite-power-hitter who strikes out in a third of his at-bats.
His career line: .242/.313/.391, with 29 home runs and just 80 walks in 1077 plate appearances. I imagine he'll stick in AAA somewhere, on the Matt LaPorta scholarship, but his ZiPS projection (.238/.304/.406) suggests this wasn't just a failure to thrive in his up-and-down trips to Houston. (He is, I'll take this final opportunity to remind you, just one year younger than Daric Barton.)
Anyway, he's ahead of Cox, who just hit .269/.357/.367 in his age-24 season at AA Jacksonville.
The Cardinals' success with unusual bats at offense-first positions defies parody by now—Allen Craig, Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter—but the expensive ones have burnt out well shy of average. I can only assume that Stephen Piscotty is being protected by his status as a supplemental first-rounder; if he'd been drafted ahead of Michael Wacha, the Cardinals probably would have traded him for Pat Neshek six months ago.