This spring the 25-year-old Ford hit .259/.385/.500 with seven doubles, two homers, ten walks, and ten strikeouts in 65 Cactus League plate appearances. He started slow before going 8-for-13 (.615) with three doubles and a homer in his last five games. Dan Vogelbach’s big spring pushed Ford out of the big league picture.
MLB.com actually ranked Ford as the 16th — 16th! — best prospect in the Mariners’ farm system, which tells you what kind of shape their organization is in at the moment. Here’s a piece of their scouting report:
Ford has long stood out for his pure hitting ability, though it was his considerable uptick in power in 2017 … Much of that power is to Ford’s pull side, though he does have feel for using the entire field … Ford’s back-to-back seasons with a .400-plus OBP highlight his advanced approach and plate discipline … (He has) the overall profile as a first-base-only prospect in the American League who offers minimal value on the basepaths raises questions about his impact potential.
Last season Ford hit .270/.404/.471 (144 wRC+) with a career high 20 homers and way more walks (94) than strikeouts (72) in 126 games split between Double-A and Triple-A. We’ll see what happens with Greg Bird’s injury, but with Tyler Austin already optioned down and Miguel Andujar slated to see time at first base this year, Ford may wind up back at Double-A this season.
The Braves returned righty Anyelo Gomez the other day, and the Orioles designated righty Jose Mesa Jr. for assignment when they signed Alex Cobb, meaning he is likely on his way back as well. Lefty Nestor Cortes is the only Yankees’ player still out there with another team as a Rule 5 Draft pick. He figures to crack the O’s Opening Day bullpen.