The MLB Draft is right around the corner and will start on July 11th at 7 PM Eastern time. It’s a bit odd this year having the draft later than normal. Instead of coinciding with the College World Series, it will happen during MLB All-Star weekend, wrapping up as the All-Star game gets ready to happen on the 13th. With it being so close, it’s time to take a look at some of the potential players the Mariners could draft in the first round.
They’ve had a run of pitchers over the last few years, taking Emerson Hancock, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert with their first picks over the last three drafts. All indications are that they are leaning towards a hitter this year as they look to change it up a bit. Further rumblings say they are looking for a college bat, one that would be ready within a year or two. We will cover some of those as well, but for this particular prospect, he comes from the high school group.
The Mariners could look at the high school catcher from Georgia, Harry Ford.
We’ve all seen the struggles that the Mariners have had at catcher so far this season. From Tom Murphy to Luis Torrens to Jose Godoy, it hasn’t been good. Torrens has been doing a lot better since being called back up on June 15th, but it’s a small-ish sample size of 50 plate appearances.
Enter Harry Ford, the catcher for North Cobb HS in Georgia. He comes from a strong line of Georgia catchers over the last seven years, with Joey Bart, Tyler Stephenson, Max Pentecost, and Anthony Seigler going before him. He is scouted as having better tools than all four of them. If not for Henry Davis from Louisville, Ford would go higher.
Ford is great all-around, grading out at a 50 power and hit, 60 run, and 55 for field and arm. If you’re looking for some kind of comp, it has to be Astro’s great Craig Biggio. With the speed and glove, Ford could actually move around and play second base or center field. Yeah, the speed is that good. If you’re looking for someone who currently plays, it would be someone like JT Realmuto, or even Isiah Kiner-Falefa, solely for the fact he could move around the field, possibly.
With quick hands and a loud bat, Harry Ford has made great contact against quality pitching. A constant worry with high schoolers is that they shine against lesser competition. That isn’t the case with Ford. The bat gets into and through the zone very quickly, which is a great building block for him to add on power as he matures.
There was a bit of worry about his defense and framing ability earlier on, but his time on the showcase circuit has assuaged those concerns. He has shown a strong ability to handle those pitches, growing as a defensive player. The work ethic to improve so quickly is another notch in his belt, improving his chances of making it to the bigs down the line.
With athleticism like Ford’s, you have to wonder where he is going to end up on the field. The bat seems like it is going to be the first thing that is Major League ready, and will translate to above-average power for a catcher. If the defense is what holds him back, his athleticism will push him to a different position so that a team can take advantage. Clocked at 85 MPH on throws to second, he has the arm to play anywhere on the diamond, even third base.
The Mariners haven’t shown much interest in high school players lately with their first-round pick, choosing to take college players instead. With an athlete like Harry Ford, it may be enough to push the Mariners into taking him 12th with their first pick of the 2021 MLB Draft.