I first met Forrest Wall in a most apropo place; just outside the batting cages.
He and catcher Dom Nunez were taking some pre-game swings and I am here to report that although I expected him to be bigger in person, the sounds coming off his bat left no such misconceptions. This kid has raw natural power that should only get better as he gets stronger and more completely recovers from his shoulder injury.
The swing is everything you've heard: it's compact and powerful from the left side and is built for hitting the ball to all fields. In 65 plate appearances in Grand Junction so far in his professional career, Wall has struck out seven times.
The power numbers have yet to show but the potential is obvious. Forrest took the time to answer a few question about being a Rockie and how his hitting approach may yet unleash his scariest self.
Let's start with the generic question. How does it feel to be in Grand Junction and be a member of the Rockies organization?
It's pretty sweet. So far so good. Fans are great and it's a very welcoming organization, especially being from Florida and feeling so far away. It's all been great so far.
There was a lot of talk around the draft about you being drafted high for a second baseman. Maybe the highest ever, maybe not depending on differing accounts. Do you think about that at all?
Not really. I don't focus on that stuff. I just try to put my head down and work hard. But, y'know, it was a really special moments and here I am now and I just have to keep working hard.
In terms of your offensive approach, are you a guess-with-the-pitch kind of guy or more of a read-and-react hitter?
I'm more of an approach guy as far as what pitch is coming and especially later on in the year after facing these guys more times I think it will be easier to hit them, especially if I've faced them before and I have a pretty good idea of what they are going to throw and what that organization does as far as (pitching) inside and outside.
But so far I've just stuck with my approach until I get two strikes and then it's a battle.
So is it a lot of film? Would you say that most of your work comes ahead of time?
Yeah, it definitely comes ahead of time. Especially working the cages. I'm huge on being prepared before game time so that when I go into the game I don't have to think about anything and I can just go and play.
Defensively, the reports have been high on athletisism but what's the story with the throwing arm?
About a year-and-a-half ago I had labrum shoulder in my right shoulder and I am still recovering from that. Since then I've been at second base and I enjoy playing there.
And how is the feel for the position coming along?
Yeah, so far. I've played shortstop my whole life and sometimes you just have to do what's best for the team, but so far so good. I just enjoy being in the lineup every day.