Atlanta Braves 2024 season preview: Forrest Wall looks to do more than just run

The former first-rounder finally broke through after nine years in the minors. This year, the speedster looks to put it all together.

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Forrest Wall was a first-round pick by the Rockies in 2014 but didn't get his first chance in the bigs until last season when the speedy outfielder made his debut as a pinch-runner for the Braves in July. Although he was initially called up for his legs, the 28-year-old had an impressive season with the bat.

In a short sample size, Wall slashed .462/.533/.846 (265 wRC+) in 15 plate appearances. Of course, going into the 2024 season, it would be unreasonable for fans to expect a .625 BABIP to continue across a full season, but what should fans expect from Wall?

What Braves fans should expect from Forrest Wall in 2024

Giving Forrest Wall the "Terrance Gore" designated pinch-runner tag wouldn't do Wall's bat justice. Although he certainly won't be producing a wRC+ that would make Barry Bonds jealous going forward, he was no slouch with the bat last season with Gwinnett.

In 411 plate appearances for the Stripers, Wall slashed .280/.372/.427, hitting eight homers and stealing 52 bags. With this production in mind (as well as the two seasons before), ZiPS projects the lefty-swinger to slash .242/.310/.345 and steal 33 bases in 421 plate appearances. For reference, Kevin Pillar had a 71 wRC+ in 206 plate appearances.

Unless a major injury happens to one of the Braves' core outfielders, fans shouldn't expect Wall to get anywhere close to that many plate appearances, but the slash line is not unreasonable.

It also wouldn't be surprising if Wall's production with the bat is better than expected. This offseason, The Athletic ($) informed fans that the rookie worked with the Braves staff to improve his hitting. Wall has seemingly taken the advice to heart.

At the time of this writing, Wall has slashed .450/.542/.900 during Spring Training, which included a two-homer game against the Rays.

Although Wall's still not a lock for the fourth or fifth outfield spot for Opening Day, it would be shocking if Wall doesn't spend a decent amount of the season in the bigs, if not just for his speed.

More Braves News from House That Hank Built