The Seattle Mariners are in the thick of a playoff push sitting at 76-59 with the third-best record in the American League behind the Houston Astros and New York Yankees. Led by rookie slugger Julio Rodriguez and MLBbro shortstop JP Crawford things in the Pacific Northwest are looking up.
The Mariners seem to be in good position to be pretty formidable for years to come. The team’s farm system keeps producing gems. In 2021, the franchise drafted Harry Ford with their first pick of the amateur draft and 12th pick overall. Ford is a hard-hitting catcher whose skillet has been likened to that of former Houston Astros legend and Baseball Hall of Famer, Craig Biggio.
Still feels like a dream, beyond blessed💙 https://t.co/pni2V4evcD
— Harry Ford (@harry_ford) July 12, 2021
Mariners Brass Was All-In On Ford
Ford has the unique distinction of being the first high school player selected during GM Jerry Diputo’s regime. Prior to the draft, Diputo, his assistant GM Justin Hollander and the team’s amateur director of scouting Scott Hunter flew to Atlanta to watch the North Cobb High School stud workout for them. Ford dazzled with an effortless swing and more than adequate throwing arm. The trio knew then he was what they wanted in the upcoming draft. When asked about the trip across the country to see Ford up close, Diputo said this.
“Very much worth it.”
“Harry is a unique five-tool player since he is a catcher. A tremendous athlete that will thrive in all areas of the game. Even though he could play centerfield or even second base we see Harry as a catcher that has a chance to impact the game with not only his bat and defense, but also with his legs as he is a plus runner. We couldn’t be more thrilled to add an athlete like this to our system.”
Harry Ford hasn't even signed yet and he's already my favorite Mariner pic.twitter.com/S5TWfQUnaG
— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 12, 2021
That was the Mariners brass displaying the excitement of drafting Ford as their future catcher. In a league where Black players are slim pickings, Black catchers are even more rare.
Ford Showed Well In Limited Action In 2021: Continued In 2022
Ford hit the road running once he joined the team for 19 games in the Arizona Complex League. While he struggled a bit, as expected he still persevered and worked out the kinks. This season he joined Low-A Modesto of the California. There he joined two other Mariners prospects in pitcher Michael Morales and shortstop Edwin Arroyo. Those three make up some of the core of the future for the Mariners. With Ford having the highest upside in most scout’s view.
While Ford missed time with a sore shoulder, when he got healthy, he hit a respectable (.272), with three home runs, 16 RBIs. He also had as many walks (21) as strikeouts (18).
4-for-5 with a 2-run blast 💥
— Mariners Player Development (@MsPlayerDev) June 19, 2022
Ford has plenty of time to develop as the Mariners have placed an arrival date of 2025 for their prized prospect. Over the next few seasons his development will be huge for the Mariners. Ford has all the tools to be an All-Star caliber catcher in the majors, and the belief is he will be.