Forrest Wall brings bat speed, a high energy swing, and a feel for contact to an organization already loaded with quality bats. Wall hits with an open stance and aligns himself during a double-tap stride that sees his bat move in sync with his feet. How he moves through his load is better than most of his peers. He doesn't sway backwards, but instead gets into his back hip during the first tap so he can ride it forward for the remainder of his stride. How his hands work reminds me of a more active Robbie Cano—no, Wall is not Cano 2.0, he simply has a movement pattern similar to Cano.
Watch how well his body works in unison. As his feet are moving, his hands are staying in rhythm. From the front view, watch how he creates a solid angle between his shoulders, hips, and knees to best launch his swing. Most hitters have trouble syncing their hands and feet, but Wall goes beyond and gets his body into a powerful position to attack the baseball. Even hitters who start upright create this angle.
No 19-year-old kid has a perfect swing. Wall has one issue that helps explain a trend I noticed when going through his game logs—lots of his hits are to the pull side, especially his extra-base hits. When he pulls the ball, it's not because he sells out through his hips, rather, he manipulates his hands to best deliver the barrel. This is a special skill to be able to use against velocity on the inner half, but Wall tends to do this pattern on all pitches and not just inside heat.
This pull tendency comes from Wall not using his rear arm as well as he could. He gets to a strong launch point, but watch how his back elbow moves compared to some elite hitters—we can see how Wall seems to slam his back elbow in his rib cage as he swings. This is very close to the pro pattern. In this episode of unfair comparisons, let’s look at Miguel Cabrera and how he turns the bat behind him. Instead of just slamming his back elbow in his ribs, the bone in his arm (humerus) rotates, bringing the elbow with it. Wall's elbow moves independently, while Miggy's moves as result of upper-arm rotation.
The other change I would like to see in Wall is for him to tap into his hips during his load with some coil. Right now his hips are stationary until he decides to launch. Nearly every big-leaguer will coil (slight inward rotation) their hips at some point in their stride. It doesn't have to be a huge movement, but just some way to prime his hips would be ideal.
Here’s the great thing about Wall. If he doesn’t make these changes he won’t be sunk. While he doesn’t coil, he does keep rhythm within his lower half. His rear arm is good, but could be better. Right now his game is flipping pitches away from him into center/left center for base hits. Gaining some depth with his rear arm would allow him to drive those pitches, but Wall is not a huge dude and controls the bat very well, so it’s not a case where the outer half is a black hole in his swing.
Wall has one of my favorite swings in the minors and it can improve as he makes some minor movement changes. Keep the double tap, keep the bat waggle—this is not a swing that needs to be "simplified". Wall just needs a few optimizations to let his natural gifts truly flourish.
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