A new face has been added to the Seattle Mariners system as with the 12th overall pick, the Mariners selected high school catcher Harry Ford.
It is the first time since Jerry DiPoto took over as Mariners GM, that the team has gone with a high school prospect in the 1st round. It’s also the first time since 2014 when the M’s selected Alex Jackson from San Diego.
Standing at 5’10 and weighing at 180 pounds, Ford isn’t your typical catcher. He’s got tremendous speed, grading at a 60 on MLB.Com and plus athleticism for a catcher. While he likely will stick at the catcher spot, there is the possibility he could move around if necessary. But with the Mariners thin on catching prospects, they needed to add to the position and drafting Ford does exactly that.
What will be worth watching now is where Ford reports. In all likelihood, Ford will head to the Arizona League as it is hard to foresee a scenario in which the organization sends an 18 year old to a full season level like Modesto. It may indeed take some time for Ford to develop in contrast of past first rounders, but the massive upside is without question there.
It is worth mentioning though that there is always risk involved when it comes to drafting high school prospects. With the younger age involved, there is more boom or bust than when a college player is taken.
But the general upside can often be higher as well for a high school kid because they’re normally still developing both physically and as a player.
Ford is currently committed to Georgia Tech as well, but there’s no indication that the team will have a problem signing him.
The Mariners next pick will be 48th overall when the MLB Draft restarts at 10 a.m. PST on Monday.