No one was sure how Seattle Mariners number one prospect Harry Ford would do on the world stage in the World Baseball Classic. He had never faced competition above Low-A ball, and facing a loaded USA super team was certainly a step up in competition. It is safe to say that Ford exceeded anyone’s expectations for the young prospect.
Despite the extremely small sample size, Ford was one of the best hitters in Great Britain’s lineup despite his youth. He slashed .308/.400/.846 with two home runs and four runs batted in. Those home runs were good enough to be knighted as he came back to the dugout, and the youngster even became a hero to young students back in Great Britain, earning him the nickname “Sir Harry Ford”.
Harry Ford goes yard and gets knighted as he returns to the dugout 👑🇬🇧
📺: FS1 and the FOX Sports App pic.twitter.com/uzsASgprzc
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 12, 2023
This is too good ❤️
Harry Ford and this Great Britain team are creating some young baseball fans across the pond 🇬🇧⚾️ pic.twitter.com/CJSjr9uwuY
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 15, 2023
It is great to see a young Mariners prospect getting recognized on the world stage like this. On the radio this week, Mike Salk of 710 Seattle Sports compared this week for Ford to Julio Rodriguez’s performance in the Olympics when he was still in the minor leagues. This was hopefully a great learning experience for Ford as well as something that he never forgets.
Mariners Draft Spotlight
We are now about to enter conference play in college baseball and we will see if some of the hot starts for players will continue when they face tougher competition. One player off to a very hot start is Mississippi State outfielder Colton Ledbetter. The 21-year-old is in his first year facing SEC competition after transferring from Samford where he had a strong two years. He had a solid freshman campaign when he had a .271/.339/.441 slash line in just 33 games as a part time player. In his second season he would slash .318/.407/.640 in almost 250 plate appearances.
This year after transferring to Mississippi State, Ledbetter is hitting .349/.517/.635 in 18 games this season. The left handed hitter has shown some pop with four home runs already this season. Perhaps the stat that suggests that he might be the type of player the Mariners would like is how much Ledbetter walks. He has walked more than he has struck out both last year at Samford and so far this season. If he can continue to control the zone against SEC competition then the 6-foot-2 outfielder might just find himself drafted by Seattle in the first few rounds.
Prospects Live has him as their 26th ranked prospect in the 2023 class and have this to say about him, “Ledbetter is an above average athlete, though he makes the most of his defensive tools and can play an average centerfield. He more than likely ends up in left field at the next level due to a fringy arm and the assumption a more superior athlete will supplant him up the middle. Still, the bat is what you’re buying here.” Ledbetter might not be the Mariners first pick of the 2023 draft, but he might be intriguing in the first few rounds.
Mariners Prospects in the News
Clinton Yates of ESPN told 710 Seattle Sports that “Sir Harry Ford” might just be really good.
MLB Pipeline highlighted how well some of the Mariners top prospects are performing this spring.
Not surprisingly, “Sir Harry Ford” was the prospect who has performed the best so far in the World Baseball Classic according to MLB.com’s Jacob Resnick.
MLB.com had some questions for the Mariners Opening Day roster and those included wondering about some minor league infielders who might have to make the roster as backups or utility men.
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