Manning the hot corner for the Class-A Hickory Crawdads, Ti'Quan Forbes possesses both a promising bat and quick actions in the field. He is only beginning to tap his potential.
Drafted in the 2nd round in 2014 by the Texas Rangers, Forbes came off a senior HS season in which he batted .427 and drove in 32 runs as a shortstop for Columbia High School (Columbia, Mississippi). Perfect Game had him ranked as the 18th-best prospect of the Class of 2014, 3rd-best among shortstops and the best-overall prospect in Mississippi.
Playing primarily at third base, he also saw eleven appearances at shortstop in rookie ball. At neither position did he show himself an especially-adept gloveman, though it should be remembered that he was 17 years old in his first pro season. He did bat .241 over 48 games with the rookie-level Arizona Rangers, striking out only 47 times in 204 plate appearances against 23 walks. He showed almost no extra-base pop, with only five extra-base hits on the season, but he did swipe 10 bases in 11 attempts on the strength of plus speed and a quick first step.
Indeed, Forbes's top-notch speed, coupled with an imminently projectable 6'3”, 180-pound frame could easily lead to double digits in all extra-base categories in the near future.
At third base, Forbes has enough arm for the position but ideally will gain strength as he matures. He has a quick lateral step to either side, at times showing lightning-quick reflexes on the hardest-hit grounders. He generally shows a quick, accurate throw to first, and many of his errors could be attributed to youth and inexperience.
He also takes long, quick strides when going back on floaters just over his head, looking very much like a future center-fielder if he doesn't remain at third. Forbes has the speed and quickness to run down hard liners in the gaps, even on misreads, though he will probably need work in the outfield before he runs consistent and efficient routes.
At the plate, Forbes uses a short foot tap to load, generally squaring up the ball well. He does show on occasion a slight hitch in his swing, but he is working to eliminate this. He finishes high and upright, getting out of the box quickly and reaching full speed within a few steps. At the moment, his lack of power means a number of fly-ball outs that soon will become doubles to the gap and the occasional home run.
There is a tremendous amount of upside with Forbes, but it's probably a few years off. He is repeating in Class-A but is only 20 years old; he turns 21 on August 26th. At his present rate of development, he should make Double-A in the next two years. There is no rush; if the Rangers take their time with him, they should be quite pleased with the return on their investment.
Consistency in the field will determine his potential defensively, as he has already shown an ability to make the low-percentage play. He profiles as a table-setter in a ML batting order, the sort of hitter who can drive in runs, score 90 or more and put himself in scoring position as well.
If he can manage to add muscle to his frame, he could climb the ladder more quickly than anticipated. But then, how often does a team have a player with so much potential who they don't have to rush from level to level? The numbers will be there; just give him time.