Beginning in 2011, I started doing capsule reports on possible Texas Ranger draft picks. No one I profiled in 2011 was actually taken by the Rangers that year, but I each of the last two years one of the players I profiled actually was picked (Nick Williams and Travis Demeritte).
This year, the Rangers don't have their own first round pick, having lost that for signing Shin-Soo Choo, but they have a supplemental first rounder (#30 overall) for losing Nelson Cruz. While just one high pick makes the draft a little less exciting, I think its still worth taking a look at some guys who may be options for Texas at #30. So in the next few weeks, I'll do little write-ups on some players who could end up being drafted by the Rangers.
This morning, I'm profiling Florida prep second baseman Forrest Wall.
Forrest Wall is a 6'0", 180 lb. lefthanded hitting high school second baseman out of Winter Park, Florida. Prep second basemen generally aren't drafted in the top several rounds, because generally speaking, if a player isn't athletic enough, or doesn't have the arm, to play shortstop in high school, and is relegated to second base, that player isn't going to usually have the arm or athleticism to be considered a premium prospect in the draft.
Wall is at second base due to undergoing labrum surgery a few years ago that sapped his arm strength; however, his bat is good enough that he's still seen as a possible first round draft pick. Baseball America has Wall ranked #34 overall, while ESPN has him ranked #73. BA's most recent mock draft has Wall going at #29, to the Reds, one pick ahead of the Rangers, while Jonathan Mayo's latest mock draft has him going to Texas at #30.
Wall's scouting report can be boiled down to Mayo's first sentence in writing about the Rangers' pick in his mock: "Wall can hit and run." One of the knocks on the Rangers' drafting philosophy has been focusing on athletes rather than baseball players, and in particular, guys who can hit. Wall would be someone who would be drafted because of his hit tool, with BA calling him one of the best pure hitters in the draft. Both BA and ESPN see him as someone who has a potential plus hit tool, and ESPN praises his pitch recognition and willingness to work the count. That, together with his speed, makes him profile as a potential leadoff hitter.
Some video of Wall: