|Born: October 1, 1985
Drafted: 18th Round, 526th Overall, 2004 (Brewers)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
High School: Vineland (NJ) HS
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Ford was a high school track star with blazing speed, but he never managed to develop enough as a hitter. He doesn’t have much power and, despite having the speed to beat out a lot of hits, hasn’t hit for good enough averages because he’s struggled to make contact. He was a prolific base stealer in the lower minors but hasn’t had good SB percentages in the upper minors. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield, but has a below average arm.
Ford played center and left in advanced rookie ball and did a good job of getting on base, but he struck out in nearly a third of his ABs without producing much power.
As the regular centerfielder in low A, Ford showed more power and cut down a little on his strikeouts, although he still fanned more than a quarter of the time. He stole a lot of bases with a decent percentage of success.
Ford returned to low A and hit very well, but struggled in high A after a June promotion.
Ford continued to struggle in high A and the Brewers traded him to San Francisco in a deadline deal for Ray Durham. He remained a very effective base stealer and still had trouble making contact.
The Giants sent Ford back to high A for the season. His improved hitting probably was at least partly attributable to the California League.
Ford finally moved up to AA. His walk rate, which had generally been good at lower levels, dropped, probably because pitchers weren’t afraid to challenge him. His base stealing also suffered as he got thrown out more. The Giants brought him up in September and he appeared exclusively as a pinch hitter, apart from two innings in center.
The Giants called Ford up when Andres Torres got hurt in mid-April and Ford remained in the majors until he sprained an ankle in late May. He appeared mainly as a pinch runner, but got thrown out a lot on steal attempts. He spent time in the minors rehabbing, then returned to the Giants in September. The Giants released him after the season.
The Mariners signed Ford and kept him in AAA all year. He hit with a little more authority, but that may have been the Pacific Coast League. His walk rate and SB % both continued to be sub-par.
Ford played semi-regularly for Indianapolis, depending in part on the other outfielders on the team at any given time. Alex Presley was with the Indians for over half the year and he got preference in center, and Felix Pie also rated ahead of Ford on the depth chart, so Ford played more left than center. He struggled at the plate, although he did improve after the All-Star break, hitting .279 as opposed to .203 before.
Ford will be a free agent and probably move on.
|2013: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 9/1/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: November 20, 2009
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 0.127
|June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round, 526th overall pick; signed on May 15, 2005.
July 20, 2008: Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers with Steve Hammond to the San Francisco Giants for Ray Durham.
November 28, 2011: Released by the San Francisco Giants.
December 2, 2011: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Seattle Mariners.
November 6, 2012: Became a free agent.
November 6, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.