OKC RedHawks: Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow in OKC to visit coaches, players

Luhnow said Hawks slugger Brett Wallace is ready for the major leagues but Astros don't have a position open for him.
By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer, aslater@opubco.com Published: July 2, 2012
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How about a guy like Mike Hessman? Not necessarily in your long term goals because of age (Hessman is 34), but he's having an amazing year in OKC, leading the PCL with 24 home runs.

“Yeah, what a terrific story. There was a reason our Triple-A staff fought so hard for him in the spring. He had a rough spring, looked a little rusty, but they saw something from him, not only from a work ethic standpoint but also from a skill standpoint. Mike has done a terrific job, and there's no question he deserves an opportunity to come up to Houston and put some balls in the boxes there. Hopefully he will get that chance, we'll see what happens, but he continues to do what we asked him to do here and he has earned a shot.”

Next year, you guys move to the American League West and will suddenly have a designated hitter role to fill. Is that something that presents an opportunity to someone like Wallace or Hessman?

“Absolutely. No question we are going to need some big bats next year, playing Texas, Anaheim, Seattle and Oakland. We're going to be looking for different guys to fill that spot, and they've both done a good job of auditioning for that spot this year in Oklahoma City.”

Anyone else that you view as a potential call-up pretty soon?

“I think Jimmy Paredes. He has made a position change and done well. Unfortunately for him, our second baseman just made the All-Star team. But I think, the one thing we know about Jimmy is that he is capable of playing multiple positions, so I wouldn't hesitate to bring him up even if it were for a different position. He's been working on some things down here, in terms of pitch selection and I think he's gotten better.”