Player: Forrest Wall
Drafted by:Colorado Rockies
DOB: 11/20/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'1", 180 pounds
School: Orangewood Christian (Florida) HS
College Commitment: North Carolina
One of the most difficult decisions for teams in the draft is how to measure the value of a high school hitter with exceptional offensive capabilities who is already limited to second base. We have a good example this year with Forrest Wall.
The Florida high school star did nothing but show premium offensive tools on the showcase circuit last year, including bat speed, hitting ability and running speed. He kept that going during his senior season in 2014 with an OPS hovering around 1.500 most of the year.
There's not a long track record of success for high school second basemen making it in the big leagues, but Wall has the tools to be an exception.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Wall is one of the best pure hitters in the high school draft crop; has lightning-quick hands and explosive wrists to generate plus bat speed; swing is built for line drives, which he hits all over the field, though there is a lot of load that can cause problems against premium velocity on the inner half.
Given his stature and lack of loft at the end of his swing, the power is always going to be fringy; going to be a doubles machine because of how solid and consistent the contact is, not to mention how fast the 18-year-old is out of the box; projection of 10-12 homers per season with 30-plus doubles is totally reasonable.
A fun side note: Wall actually beat Jose Bautista in the first round of a home run exhibition in January to raise funds for Orangewood Christian High School.
Plate Discipline: 50/60
Has surprising plate discipline for a player so young; recognizes pitches well and has proved capable of driving both fastballs and off-speed pitches; most impressive thing about him is how he can manipulate a count into his favor, by laying off close pitches and staying alive with two strikes, to get the pitch he wants.
One of the best pure runners in this class, Wall is going to put up huge stolen base totals and uses his legs to enhance his range; arm strength won't allow him to stay on the left side of the diamond, regardless of range.
Despite his above-average range at second base, he doesn't project to be more than average defensively due to limited arm strength and occasional awkwardness on his throws, which will lead to some sloppy errors; it's a correctable flaw but not enough to significantly enhance the projection.
Wall's arm strength was never an asset, but it's gotten progressively worse in the last few years due to a separated shoulder and torn labrum; won't be able to stay at shortstop and is limited to second base; has a long, slow transfer that makes the lack of power in his arm noticeable.
MLB Player Comparison: Rougned Odor
It may seem early to start comparing any prospect to Odor, who is still in the embryonic stages of his MLB career, but the similarities with Wall are hard to ignore. Both are undersized players with outstanding hit tools who will hit a lot of doubles with fringe power. Wall is a better athlete with more defensive upside, but the bat is overwhelmingly the carrying tool in each case.
Projection: Above-average second baseman on first-division team
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 75 percent
Even though Wall's stock is rising leading up to the draft because of his offensive potential, especially in a season where most of the top high school hitters didn't always impress, it wouldn't be a shock to see him end up at North Carolina for three years.
If he goes to college and proves he's capable of being an above-average defensive second baseman with the same offensive potential he has now, there's a strong chance he could end up as a top-15 pick in 2017.
Even with that possibility, Wall is going to have a hard time turning down the signing bonus he will get and understands better than most that injuries can happen at any time.
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