Mariners’ top prospect Harry Ford sheds light on WBC qualifying

The season for Modesto Nuts, the Mariners’ Single-A affiliate, may have ended more than a week ago, but one of the Nuts’ best players is still harvesting.

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Harry Ford, a catcher and the Mariners’ No. 1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, lit up the World Baseball Classic qualifier for Great Britain this week. He came into Tuesday’s game against Spain having gone 3-for-6 with two homers, a double and three walks in his first two playoff games.

He only added to it on Tuesday with his third home run in as many games.

By the way, yes, that’s Ryan Rowland-Smith, the former Mariners pitcher and current M shows analyst (and a regular guest on Seattle Sports 710 AM programs), on call as color commentator in the video. Rowland-Smith is on the field in Regensburg, Germany, calling games, which you can watch on the official WBC website.

Ford has grabbed and taken the lead in all three games for Great Britain so far, leading the team to a 14-4 victory on September 16 against France and an 8-1 win over Germany. on September 17 before a much more competitive game against Spain on Tuesday which was still in progress at the time of this post.

The Spanish squad includes shortstop Noelvi Marte, himself a former Mariners prospect who played for the High-A Everett AquaSox this season before being the centerpiece of Seattle’s package against the Cincinnati Reds in the trade of the ace Luis Castillo at the end of July. Marten also scored in Tuesday’s game.

Ford hopes to help Britain earn a place in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which is scheduled for next March.

While Ford was No. 12 overall in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school in the Atlanta area by the Mariners, he’s capable of representing Britain in the WBC as a “sneaky British” , as Mariners insider Shannon Drayer dubbed it during an interview with him on The Mariners Hot Stove last February on Seattle Sports.

“Both my parents are completely British, born and bred there,” he shared in what was a very entertaining interview with the 19-year-old.

As for Ford’s underage season, he posted a slash of .274/.425/.438 for .863 OPS in 104 games with the Nuts this year. Uniquely athletic for a catcher, he hit 11 home runs, 23 doubles and four triples, and stole 23 bases on 28 attempts. Although Ford was listed as both a catcher and an outfielder when the Mariners drafted him, he’s split his time nearly evenly between catcher (54 games) and designated hitter (49 games) this year.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Ford’s estimated time of arrival in the major leagues is 2025 by MLB Pipeline.

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