After being the first high schooler drafted in the first round during the Jerry Dipoto era, Harry Ford made his full-season debut at Low-A Modesto in 2022. He hit .274/.425/.439 in 104 games with 11 home runs, 23 doubles, and four triples. The 5-foot-10 righty struck out 115 times(23%), but walked 88 times(17%), which was tied for the second most in the Low-A California League. Ford also stole 23 bases and was only caught stealing five times.
The Georgia native was among the top 15 in the Cal League in the three Triple Crown stats: Ford’s .274 batting average was good for 12th best in the league, his .425 OBP was the fourth, and his .439 SLG was 15th highest. That shows how he was one of the league’s best offensive players during his 2022 campaign.
Fangraphs and Prospects Live give Ford a 50 future hit tool and a 55 future power projection. MLB Pipeline has him with a 55 future hit tool and 50 future power. All three sites have Ford as the Mariners current number one prospect, as well as Jason A. Churchill.
While Ford does not have huge future potential at the plate, he projects to be both a solid offensive contributor as well as a good defender. Ford split his time in 2022 nearly 50-50 between catcher and DH. He played 54 games behind the dish and 49 as the Nuts designated hitter. The consensus is that Ford will be an average or better defender behind the plate with an above average arm.
If Ford can’t stick behind the plate, he has enough athleticism to move to another position. When he was drafted, the Mariners official press release had Ford as a catcher/outfielder, so the Mariners clearly must believe he could play the outfield if he has to move off of catching.
While Ford is the consensus top prospect in the Seattle system, the former first-round pick is highest on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100, coming in at No. 65. Prospects Live had him at No. 79 on their Top 100 done right after the 2022 trade deadline, and Fangraphs had him just outside their Top 100.
The 19-year-old will most likely start the year in High-A Everett. Since he will play next season at age 20, he is probably not going to be a fast-moving prospect, and will more than likely get a full season playing for the Aqua Sox.
Mariners Minor League Transactions
The Mariners signed 27-year-old RHP Jose Rodriguez who spent last season in the New York Mets organization, playing for their Triple-A affiliate. He started 11 games and came out of the bullpen in 18, totaling 76.1 innings. The 6-foot-2 Venezuelan had a 4.95 ERA and struck out 68 while walking 36. He was assigned to the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers roster, and will likely be a bullpen arm for them, and has the chance to be an emergency call-up at best.
Mariners Minor Leaguers in the News
The MLB Pipeline team wrote about one prospect from each team that could be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, and Seattle’s was a hard throwing reliever.
Daniel Kramer shines a light on top prospect Harry Ford for his charity work and for giving back to the community.
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