When the Seattle Mariners drafted catcher Harry Ford with the No.12 pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, they projected him as a cornerstone of their future.


Harry Ford Is A Rare Talent


But what they didn’t envision was Ford being the club’s future leadoff hitter. Blessed with rare athleticism, elite speed and an advanced approach at the plate not seen by most minor leaguers, Ford’s got it all.


The fact that he’s a Black catcher — a position as foreign to MLBbros these days as a fish fry with no tartar sauce — just makes his journey more attractive to baseball historians and fans alike.


Currently MLB’s No.28 prospect, Ford has flashed his dynamic skill set at the High-A level last season with the Everett Aquasox Baseball Club. There he batted a respectable .257 with 15 home runs, 67 RBI. He displayed a knack for the extra-base hit racking up 24 doubles. Ford’s play last season led to him being bumped up to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers to begin the 2024 season. The move up the ranks hasn’t slowed Ford’s production one bit, as he still swinging a great bat and flashing his skill behind the dish.


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A Black Catcher, and He’s A Leadoff Hitter?


Not often are catchers at the top of the order, but not all catchers are Harry Ford. He reminds us of a young Craig Biggio, who was a catcher with rare speed and agility before carving out a Hall of Fame career as a second baseman. The Atlanta native is currently performing at a high level in the leadoff spot for the Travelers.


Last week Ford had back-to-back games with a three-run homer where his patience at the plate and ability to spray the baseball to all areas of the field were on full display.



Ford leading off at the major league level is definitely in play and would be rare. This season alone only six lineups in all of MLB have had a catcher leadoff. That’s out of 1,406 lineups, and all have been by former Milwaukee Brewers All-Star William Contreras.


Travelers manager Christian Colon, speaks highly of Ford and believes he’s a throwback. He told reporters this about Ford after his recent big days at the plate.


“He’s super unique. For his profile, you gotta go back all the way to the 1930s or something to look at a guy that can do thing like that, his profile, what he does, how athletic he is, how he runs. It’s pretty impressive. We’re just happy he’s in our organization.”


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Harry Ford Been On A Tear After Slow Start


Ford’s jump to Double-A to begin the season wasn’t easy, as the future Mariners catcher struggled mightily. Ford’s slash line through his first 12 games of .109/.268/.174 was hard to look at. He didn’t even record a hit until his fifth game, but that didn’t deter him at all. Since then, he’s been hot as fish grease at the plate, boasting a slash line of .353/.491/.588.


That includes a 12-game hitting streak and eight multi-hit games.


With the jump from High-A pitching to Double-A pitching long considered to be the toughest jump, after an expected tough start, Ford seems to be handling it pretty well. One of the more impressive characteristics of Ford’s game is his plate discipline, which is something he struggled with early on in his career. That’s changed and he now has the second-most walks (29) in the Texas League, that’s in addition to just 32 strikeouts.


While Ford’s expected to be called up in 2025, if he continues to play at this level that could happen sometime in September of this season.

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