July 14, 2024

To guarantee a spot on the Atlanta Braves’ Opening Day roster, simply avoid giving them any justification to exclude you. Forrest Wall, an outfielder for the Braves, is in contention for the backup outfield position against Jordan Luplow, Eli White, and J.P. Martinez, who were invited as non-roster players and acquired in the offseason trade. Wall is leaving no stone unturned to demonstrate his worthiness for the role of the fourth outfielder. In his initial four games during Grapefruit League action, Wall has showcased an impressive performance, batting 5-9 with three home runs, three runs scored, and eight runs batted in.

The outfielder boasts an impressive slashline of .556/.600/1.556. Wall, who had a stint on the major league roster towards the end of last season and successfully stole five bases out of six attempts, is reportedly eager to demonstrate that he offers more than just speed and defensive prowess.

The Braves have shown their support for Wall’s development by dispatching hitting coordinator Chris Antariksa and rookie-ball hitting coach Steve Wilkerson to his residence in Palm Harbor, FL during the offseason to collaborate with the left-handed hitter. Wall expressed gratitude for their guidance, acknowledging that they identified certain aspects of his technique that required refinement, leading to improvements in his game.

In our previous discussions regarding the Opening Day roster, the composition of the bench remains uncertain beyond catcher Travis d’Arnaud and infielder Luis Guillorme. Wall finds encouragement in comments from president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos, who hinted that speed would factor into the selection for one of the bench roles. Notably, Wall set a Gwinnett record with 52 stolen bases out of 60 attempts last season in just 90 games, and demonstrated his base-stealing ability by going five for six in his brief MLB appearance.

However, Wall faces competition from other candidates with speed. Luke Williams, who was flawless in stealing four bases in as many attempts last season across the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, amassed a total of 32 steals out of 38 attempts across the major and minor leagues. Additionally, offseason acquisition J.P. Martinez stole 41 bases successfully out of 45 attempts in the Texas Rangers’ minor league system last year, while maintaining a batting average of .297 and showcasing versatility by playing across all three outfield positions.

Determining the makeup of the bench will likely be one of the most debated topics leading up to Opening Day, alongside the selection of the fifth starting pitcher.

Forrest Wall Is Trying To Mash His Way to a Bench Job

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