Forrest Wall scouting report

Forrest Wall

courtesy of the Asheville Citizen times

Wall (age 19)  bats left and throws right, listed at 6′ 176 lbs, that looks accurate.

Wall was the Rockies second 1st round selection (35th overall, competitive balance pick) in the 2014 draft from Orangewood Christian HS in Maitland Fl (Orlando area).

Wall is the first ever high school 2nd baseman to be drafted in the 1st round. Which makes sense as most of the 2nd basemen in the majors were drafted as shortstops.  Wall was a shortstop for his high school team until he tore a labrum in his throwing shoulder and after which he struggled making the longer throws.

After the draft, Wall played for Grand Junction in the Pioneer league (rookie ball).  Grand Junction is known to be a hitters park and and Wall performed very well there hitting .318/.416/.490  with 15 extra base hits and 18 sb’s in 150 at bats.

Coming into 2015  Wall was one of the players I was most looking forward to seeing, and I saw about 30 at bats this summer over 8 different looks, as well as a few batting practice sessions.  It’s easy to see why he was a 1st round draft pick.

At the plate Wall has an open stance and a double toe tap for timing.  He has a long swing but a fast bat that has lift.  In my first few looks I was wondering if the short right field porch at McCormick field (favorable to lefties, 297 down the RF line, 320 to right center and a 36′ wall) was in his head as it was pretty clear he was trying to elevate and pull everything. Through May 15th  (about a month of games) 33% of his batted balls were either a popup or lazy flyout behind shortstop. He looked like he was trying to hit everything nine miles.

From Mid- May forward with the exception of a few stretches  he settled in and he was letting the ball travel deeper and he was stinging sharp grounders and low line drives and utilizing the whole field and turning on the occasional inside fastball, while also punished a few up and away fastballs to the gap in left center.

Batted ball rates supplied by MLB Farm

Using the start date of May 15th will give us a truer reading of who he actually is right now.

(Vs RHP May 15-Sep 30) (184 at bats) Groundball 42%, Fly Ball 29%, Line Drive 21% and Pop UP 8%

He is spraying the ball all over the yard but most frequently favors the middle of the diamond. All five of his HR’s during this stretch were either to his pull side or to CF. He hit .299/ .389/ .364 from May 15th on vs RHP. He walked at a 14% clip and struck out 12% of the time.

Vs LHP May 15th- Sep 30) (84 at bats) Groundball 32%, Fly Ball 27%, LIne Drive 22% Pop Up 18%

The batted ball data is a small sample size vs LHP in part because he struggled to make contact vs south paws. Nearly all of his ground balls are to his pull side and his infield popups soared. More of a pull hitter vs lefties but still uses other fields. I mentioned the contact rates, 27% strikeout rate though that did improve as the year went along. He walked 7% of the time. Wall hit .286/ .326/ .321 vs lefties after May 15th.

Here we get a look at Walls swing courtesy of Cubs prospect watch.  Take a look at the swing around the 1:00 mark.  That’s the good Wall swing where he stayed back and let the ball travel and then took it back up the middle on the line.  There’s about 10 seconds of Omar Carrizales in here too we still get a lot of looks at Wall so I kept it.

 

I would grade Walls current raw power 50 and game power 45.  That could become 55 raw as he fills out but he doesn’t have the type of body that can carry a ton of extra muscle. I would expect  approximately 12-16 HR’s.

Walls speed is plus but he needs to work on reading pitchers and getting better jumps to maximize the stolen base threat.  He’s a smart/aggressive base runner who will take an extra base and goes 1st to 3rd very well.

Defensively Wall plays a steady 2nd base, he goes to his left and right well and he’s shown plenty of arm for the position. The only play I’ve seen him struggle with is going out for the popup, I saw him drop 2 in one game though one was ruled a hit.

Wall has the skills to be a  280-15-25 player with steady defense at 2nd base.  As far as High school draftees in low-A  go Wall isn’t as risky as most of them. He just needs to remember to stay within himself.

I’ll be starting to review some of the Sally’s top shortstops next week with a look at Ozhaino (Ozzie) Albies. Thanks.

 

 

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