When Forrest Wall signed a minor league deal with the Braves before the 2023 season, fans hardly made a sound. Most fans (myself included), didn't even know who the speedster was.
In 2022, the OF had slashed .255/.333/.354 with the Mariners AAA team in 120 games and stole 52 bases. The Braves looked to capitalize on the 28-year-old's speed and extended him an invitation to Spring Training.
While he didn't make the team out of camp, he made a great impression with management, with Brian Snitker noting the speedster would get his shot.
Forrest ran his way to the bigs
Forrest Wall stole two bases during Gwinnett's season opener and didn't stop stealing bases. Despite only playing 90 games in AAA this season, Wall matched his 2022 stolen base mark with 52 swipes and was only caught eight times.
Wall also hit much better in 2023 for the Stripers than he did for the Tacoma Rainiers in 2022, slashing .280/.372/.427 in his fourth go-around in AAA.
Although the Braves seldom used their 26th roster spot, Wall would have to wait until mid-July until the Braves finally gave him his first shot in the bigs.
How did Forrest do?
After getting called up on July 18, the former first-round pick only appeared in four games. In his MLB debut, he showed off his speed as a pinch-runner, swiping 2B and 3B against the Brewers.
After his debut, he'd only appear in three games over the next 24 days. He picked up his first PAs in Pittsburgh and picked up his first career hit in the Nicky Lopez game against the Mets.
On August 15, the Braves decided to call up Luke Williams and option Wall to AAA. Wall would spend the next two weeks staying warm and received one of the two expanded September roster spots.
With the Braves wrapping up the division early, they turned to the OF a little more in the final month of the season. Wall would appear in 10 games, all after the 11th and received 11 PAs.
In his limited action, he slashed .462/.533/.846, which included his first career homer and five stolen bases. His 265 wRC+ was the best on the Braves among players with more than one PA (although Charlie Culberson led the team among players with at least one PA, as his one PA resulted in a single, producing a 475 wRC+).
Not bad start to your MLB career.
What to expect in 2024
Wall remains on the 40-man roster going into the offseason and will still have two option years left, meaning that if the Braves want to retain the speedy OF, they should have no issue doing so.
Steamer projects Wall to hit at a Kevin Pillar-esque 78 wRC+ next season and a 0.0 overall WAR. Although he lacks a high ceiling, he can still provide plenty of value to the Braves in 2024 through his speed and defense.
However, this lack of ceiling might make him expendable on the Braves, who currently have a full 40-man roster. Depending on how the team values his speed, he might find himself on waivers if the Braves make multiple free agent signings.