Last year, a top notch athlete with more tools than skills at the shortstop position in Travis Demeritte went round 1 to Texas. This year's version of Demeritte could be Ti'Quan Forbes, a tantalizing athlete from Mississippi who has the potential to contribute across the board at the major league level.
Forbes is a wiry 6'4", 170 and mans shortstop for Columbia high. At his current weight, and with his ample agility and speed, his range is more than adequate at short. However, as he fills out his long frame, a move to third base could be in the cards. He's silky smooth in his actions in the infield, but can get a little hard-handed and will need some work before he is ready to man an infield spot in the bigs. He does have an excellent throwing release in the field, getting the ball away quickly, cleanly and with zip.
A right handed hitter, Forbes shows promise at the plate as well. He has a loose swing with lightning-quick bat speed, and he does a good job of keeping his hands back and driving the ball. He's currently a line drive hitter with power to the gaps, but more pop is surely on the way. He takes a big stride into the ball and a lot of his lower body action could be quieted down, as could his lean into the baseball, but his athleticism is on full display in his swing. With some tweaks, he could become a solid hitter for average with above average power.
He's certainly raw, but you'll be hard pressed to find a better athlete in the draft. He shows some patience at the plate and some defensive skill, and if the rest of his game comes around the sky could be the limit. The future grades on all five of his tools could be 50 or higher on some scouts' projections.
If it all comes together, Forbes can be a star. He could be a plus defender at third base or an adequate one at short with power and speed to burn. However, he needs to develop his hands in the field and his hitting ability to capitalize on his talent.
Projected Draft Round
Assuming he is willing to sign, I can't see Forbes slipping out of the top 50 selections.
Will He Sign?
With a commitment to home town Ole Miss, Forbes may command overslot money, but he should go high enough to skip college ball.