Mike Ford
Washington Nationals
First baseman
Born: (1992-07-04) July 4, 1992 (age 29)
Belle Mead, New Jersey
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 18, 2019, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
(through June 1, 2021)
Batting average.199
Home runs17
Runs batted in41
Teams

Michael Ford (born July 4, 1992) is an American professional baseball first baseman for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the New York Yankees from 2019 through 2021.

Early life and college

Ford was born on July 4, 1992, to Bob and Barb Ford, and grew up in Belle Mead in Montgomery Township, New Jersey.[1] He is of Irish and Italian descent, respectively. When he was 12 and 13, he was part of Montgomery's Babe Ruth League teams that went to the Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth World Series. He attended Montgomery High School as a freshman before transferring to the Hun School of Princeton.[2]

Ford played college baseball at Princeton University for the Tigers from 2011 to 2013. He was both a first baseman and a pitcher. In 2013, he became the first player in Ivy League history to be named both the Player and Pitcher of the Year, after batting .320 and ranking in the top 10 in the Ivy League in walks (#1, with 31), home runs (#2, with 6), RBIs (#3, with 38), and on-base percentage (#4, at .443), while going 6–0 on the mound with a league-leading 0.98 ERA.[3][4] In 2012 and 2013, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[5][6][7]

Professional career

New York Yankees

After going undrafted in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, Ford signed with the Yankees as an undrafted free agent.[8][9] He made his professional debut in 2013 with the Staten Island Yankees and spent the whole season there, batting .235/.346/.374 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 33 games.[10] Ford started 2014 with the Charleston RiverDogs. In May, he hit four home runs in one game against the Hickory Crawdads.[11][12][13] He was promoted to the Tampa Yankees in August and he finished the season there. In 105 total games between both teams he batted .292/.383/.458 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs. He was named a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All Star.[14]

In 2015, he played for Tampa where he batted .260/.346/.368 with 62 runs (10th in the league), six home runs, 55 RBIs, and 60 walks (4th) in 123 games.[15] He was named a Florida State League Mid-Season All Star.[14] In 2016, he played with Staten Island, Tampa, and the Trenton Thunder where he slashed .289/.411/.479 with eight home runs, 43 RBIs, and 41 walks (while striking out only 29 times) in 56 games between the three teams.

The Mariners selected Ford from the Yankees in the 2017 Rule 5 draft.[16] They returned him to the Yankees on March 24.[17] He spent 2017 with Trenton and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders where he led the Eastern League with 76 walks (while striking out only 56 times) and was second in the league in OBP as he batted a combined .270/.404/.471 with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs in 126 games.[14][18] He was named an MiLB Yankees Organization All Star, and an Eastern League Mid-Season All Star.[14] He spent almost all of 2018 with Scranton, batting .253/.327/.433 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs in 102 games.[19] In total, Ford has a .269 average with 71 home runs and 328 RBI's in 561 Minor League games.

Ford with the New York Yankees in 2019
Ford with the New York Yankees in 2019

The Yankees invited Ford to spring training as a non-roster player in 2019. They assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start the 2019 season.[20] The Yankees promoted Ford to the major leagues when Greg Bird went on the injured list on April 16.[21] He made his major league debut on April 18.[22] After going 0 for 6 at bat in his first two games, on April 21, Ford got his first MLB hit; a double to left-center field off Jorge López in a 7–6 win against the Kansas City Royals.[23] On April 23, he hit his first MLB home run off Chris Stratton of the Los Angeles Angels.[24]

On August 15, in a blowout game against the Cleveland Indians, Ford made his pitching debut. He gave up two home runs, but pitched two innings, including a 1-2-3 ninth inning. On August 26, Ford recorded his first multi home run game in his MLB career by hitting two home runs against the Seattle Mariners.[25] On September 1, Ford hit his first career walk-off hit, a solo home run off of Liam Hendriks in a 5–4 win over the Oakland Athletics.[26]

Ford spent the entire 2020 season with the Yankees, but he struggled offensively, posting offensive numbers well below his 2019 season, with a .135/.226/.270 slash line paired with only 2 home runs and 11 RBI.[27] After posting a slash line of .133/.278/.283 in 22 games, Ford was designated for assignment by the Yankees on June 12, 2021.[28]

Tampa Bay Rays

On June 17, 2021, Ford was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later or cash considerations (which was later announced to be OF Aldenis Sanchez) [29] and was assigned to the Triple-A Durham Bulls.[30] On August 21, Ford was designated for assignment by the Rays.[31]

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals claimed Ford off outright waivers from the Rays on August 23, 2021. He was assigned to the Class-AAA Rochester Red Wings.[32]

References

  1. ^ Blum, Ronald (April 18, 2019). "Yankees can't deliver, get edged by Royals". New York Daily News.
  2. ^ Preston, Barbara (April 17, 2019). "Next Man Up — Belle Mead's Mike Ford Joins NY Yankees". The Montgomery News. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  3. ^ "Ford Makes Ivy League History, Named Player & Pitcher of the Year". GoPrincetonTigers.com. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  4. ^ "Sapakoff: Much more to the RiverDogs' Mike Ford than a four-homer game". Post and Courier. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  5. ^ "#38 Mike Ford - Profile". pointstreak.com. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  6. ^ "Mike Ford - Profile". pointstreak.com. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Greg Joyce (July 12, 2013). "Cape League spotlight: Mike Ford, Cotuit". capecodtimes.com. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  8. ^ "Mike Ford Signs with the New York Yankees". GoPrincetonTigers.com. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  9. ^ Coleman, Anthony. "Princeton University's Ford, Rutgers University's Roe sign professional baseball contracts". NJ.com. The Times. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  10. ^ DeMarzo, John (May 29, 2014). "Yankees minor leaguer explains magic of his 4-homer game". New York Post. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "Yankees minor-leaguer Mike Ford hits four home runs in one game". CBSSports.com. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  12. ^ "Mike Ford belts four homers". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  13. ^ Eckel, Mark (May 29, 2014). "Minor League Baseball Notebook: Hun School graduate Mike Ford has 4-homer game". NJ.com. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d "Mike Ford Stats, Highlights, Bio | MiLB.com Stats | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Milb.com. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "2015 Florida State League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. January 1, 1970. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  16. ^ "2017 MLB Rule 5 Draft results". MLB.com. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Johns, Greg (January 20, 2016). "Mariners send Rule 5 pick Mike Ford to Yanks | Seattle Mariners". Mlb.com. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  18. ^ "2017 Eastern League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. January 1, 1970. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  19. ^ "Mike Ford Minor & Winter Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  20. ^ "Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders roster announced". Times Leader. March 29, 2019.
  21. ^ Martin, Dan (January 1, 1970). "Greg Bird's worrying foot injury is another Yankees blow". Nypost.com. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Hoch, Bryan. "Mike Ford makes MLB debut for Yankees | New York Yankees". Mlb.com. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  23. ^ Kuty, Brendan (April 21, 2019). "Yankees' Austin Romine's 10th-inning walk-off beats Royals - Rapid reaction". NJ.com.
  24. ^ "Voit homers twice to lead Yankees over Angels 7-5". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  25. ^ "Yankees 2019 Roster Report Card: Mike Ford". Pinstripe Alley. November 3, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  26. ^ "Yankees rookie Mike Ford makes franchise history with pinch-hit walk-off home run vs. Athletics". CBS Sports. September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  27. ^ "Yankees 2020 Roster Report Cards: Mike Ford". pinstripealley.com. November 12, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  28. ^ https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/06/yankees-dfa-mike-ford-reinstate-zack-britton-option-brooks-kriske.html
  29. ^ @Yankees (July 1, 2021). "The Yankees have acquired OF Aldenis Sanchez from the Tampa Bay Rays as the player to be named later in the 6/17/21…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  30. ^ https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/06/rays-acquire-mike-ford-from-yankees.html
  31. ^ https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/rays-mike-ford-removed-from-40-man-roster/
  32. ^ https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/08/nationals-claim-mike-ford-waivers-rays.html