Mariners Prospect Check-in: New #1 Prospect Harry Ford
The Mariners have had some great and intriguing players top their prospect lists over the last few years. Julio Rodriguez, Noelvi Marte, Jarred Kelenic, Justus Sheffield, and Kyle Lewis have all sat atop the list at some point over the last few seasons. It’s time to add another name to that list in Harry Ford, the Mariners first-round pick in the 2021 draft.
With the trade deadline in our rearview mirror, I wanted to take a look at the Mariners farm system, and try and learn a little bit more about some of the guys that reside within their system. Starting at the top with Harry Ford seemed like a great idea. He’s fun to talk to, is an uber-athlete, and is pretty darn good at baseball as well.
Harry Ford seems like a great pick by the Mariners so far, and a worthy name to sit atop the prospect rankings in Seattle
Depending on where you look, you might see a power grade of average for Ford, but I think it’s a bit more than that. I’m not saying it’s anything crazy, but a 55 grade sounds about right for him. With seven homers and 14 2Bs this season in Modesto so far (Mariners A ball), Ford has shown good pop for someone who is playing their first full minor league season, at just 19 years old.
He’s an incredibly well-rounded player, and I could see him turning into someone like Jason Kendall. It’s actually some big shoes to fill to replicate Kendall, as he is the MLB all-time leader for SB by a catcher with 189. 106 of those came in his first six seasons, and I could see something similar for Ford. Stolen bases don’t occur as often as they used to, but Ford has actual speed, not just catcher speed. Remember, he could play outfield if asked, he has that kind of speed. Probably in the 60/65 range, but it’s likely to trend down as a catcher and his body slows down.
Through 73 games, he is 15-18 on SB attempts, which is pretty impressive. It helps that he has a good eye at the plate and is able to get on often, with a slash line of .271/.418/.426. That’s an impressive walk rate, and something that should stand out for someone so young. The average age in A ball is just over 21, so to see him hitting so well, this early, stands out. The hit tool is probably right in line with power, maybe a tad up, sitting 55/60.
It’ll be important to watch his arm as he progresses through the minors. He’s thrown out just 25% of runners this season so far, but again, it’s tough in A ball for someone so young. Especially if you aren’t getting good opportunities from your pitchers. I’m not saying that’s the case, but this is where pop time from a catcher is more important than a CS rate.
The average pop time sits right around 2.01 seconds in the majors. With Ford, he was clocked at 1.97 to second, and down into the low 1.9xs occasionally. The 1.97 is the realistic one, and seeing a number from someone so raw is very exciting. He brings it as well, hitting 85 mph on his throws to second, which would be an elite college number. So he’s quick and has a great arm, which is why I think the arm is a 60 and the glove is a 55.
When it comes down to it, here’s how I would grade Ford. Maybe it’s a homerism thing, maybe it’s success as a youth, but I think the Mariners have a darn good teenager on their hands.
- HIT: 55
- POWER: 55
- RUN: 60
- ARM: 60
- FIELD: 55
- OVERALL: 55
It’s not going to be long until Ford starts moving through the system, and I would actually be surprised if they don’t let him get a taste of High-A ball in Everett with the Aquasox. He’s still a ways out, and likely won’t see the bigs until his age-22 season in 2025. He has a long road ahead of him still, but Harry Ford is looking like a stud so far for the Mariners.