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Wall driven to join old pal Bichette in Majors

@baseballexis
January 13, 2020

Forrest Wall is looking forward. The 2019 season offered the 24-year-old outfielder his first full year in the Blue Jays organization and an introduction to Triple-A. And after getting a chance to glean a little bit of the big league experience at MLB/MLBPA’s Rookie Career Development Program in Miami, he’s

Forrest Wall is looking forward.

The 2019 season offered the 24-year-old outfielder his first full year in the Blue Jays organization and an introduction to Triple-A. And after getting a chance to glean a little bit of the big league experience at MLB/MLBPA’s Rookie Career Development Program in Miami, he’s ready for what lay ahead.

Over four days in Miami, Wall -- along with Toronto prospects Bryan Baker and Jackson McClelland, among a slew of other teams’ participants -- took part in an array of informative sessions offering the game’s future big leaguers a chance to learn strategies for dealing with the media, how to handle situations that may arise in the clubhouse, join discussions on drugs in baseball, inclusion, financial planning and much more.

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“I didn’t know too much about the Rookie Program,” Wall said. “I looked into it more after I was invited, but I realized it’s a good opportunity for me to be here and meet new people, and learn a lot about what could be coming in the future.”

In Wall’s immediate future is a likely shot to make the Opening Day roster at Triple-A Buffalo, after getting into 14 games with the Bisons to end last season. In 109 contests at Double-A New Hampshire in 2019, Wall earned an Eastern League All-Star selection while hitting .270/.353/.419 with nine home runs, 27 doubles and four triples for the Fisher Cats.

“I actually really enjoyed Triple-A; you feel like you’re one step away,” said Wall, who was drafted 35th overall by the Rockies in 2014. “To me that was really cool, instead of grinding [lower] in the Minor Leagues where it feels so far away. When I got there it was cool; I had great teammates, and once you believe that you belong there, [it’s about] competing after that.

“Once I got there, it was about honing in on some areas of my game that I want to improve, and then be ready for Spring Training.”

The native of Winter Park, Fla., will again reunite with former amateur teammates Sean Reid-Foley and Bo Bichette at Blue Jays camp in Dunedin, Fla. Wall shared the Spring Training location with his fellow Florida Travel Baseball alumni for the first time last year, after being traded during the 2018 season from Colorado to Toronto as part of the deal for Seunghwan Oh. With the Blue Jays, he was in prime position to keep an eye on Bichette -- a family friend since their days as toddlers -- as he made his first impression in the Majors.

“It was awesome to see,” Wall said of Bichette. “Everybody knew he was going to go up there and just ball out, and it was really cool to see. We grew up together, we’ve taken countless amounts of swings together, and to see him get called up and have success was really cool.”

Heading into the 2020 season, Wall is looking to make waves of his own. After going unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft in December, the left-handed-hitting outfielder has some added drive to prove that he can be a difference-maker for the Blue Jays.

“It’s definitely motivating,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you can’t let it get to you, and you’ve just got to continue to work hard.”

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.