The Yankees have announced that the Mariners returned first baseman Mike Ford to them. Ford was the 11th pick in this offseason’s Rule 5 Draft.
Ford was part of a vulnerable Yankees system when the Rule 5 Draft came around. Indeed, Bombers’ farm system was raided for three of its young players they weren’t able to fit onto the 40-man roster by the November deadline.
Ford has an elite track record of getting on base in the minors. He owns an 18.4% walk rate at the Double-A level, and a 15.7% walk rate even at Triple-A. Last season, he slashed .266/.383/.543 for the Rail Riders, despite a .247 BABIP. During spring training with the Mariners, the 25-year-old mashed the baseball to the tune of a .885 OPS.
All this considered, it seems a bit surprising on the surface that he wasn’t able to crack the big league roster. But considering the scorching spring performance of Dan Vogelbach (who crushed six homers and posted an OPS of 1.385) and the return to health of Ryon Healy, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious spot for Ford on the roster.