Cal Raleigh is a core piece of the Mariners' roster, and if you are looking for the next dynamic backstop in the system, go all the way down the ladder to High-A Everett. That's where our 3rd ranked prospect, Harry Ford, toiled his five tools this year.
Ford had a whirlwind year starring for Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic, suiting up for the MLB Futures Game, leading the Everett Aquasox to the playoffs, and capping it all off by playing the Arizona Fall League.
If you are looking for comparisons, I lean toward former Astro, Craig Biggio. A 5'10" Ford is compact, twitchy, and has a seasoned approach at the plate, as evidenced by his Northwest League-leading 103 walks. His tools are above-average with speed (60), and his arm (60) is the highest rated of the bunch.
The Mariners aggressively promoted the Ford to Everett this year, and he crushed the NWL by authoring a .257/.410/.849 slash line as one of the youngest players in the league. He launched 43 extra-base hits (15 HR) and swiped 24 bases for the Aquasox. Offensively, the 20-year-old catcher brings a keen eye in the box and has wholly bought into the Mariner way ("Dominate the Zone).
Defensively, Ford has come a long way with his pitch framing and blocking skills. Scouts believe he could stick behind the dish thanks to his ability to move and the 60-grade arm.
With Raleigh locked up for at least three years and Ford's estimated arrival in 2025, we'll probably see him move around the diamond next season for the Arkansas Travelers.