Harry Ford shows growth offensively

Harry Ford spent significant time between his high school baseball season and the summer showcase circuit in the weight room. He hoped the additional strength would allow him to show more consistent in-game power, especially during the summer against elite high school pitching.

Professional scouts have considered Ford as one of the best defensive catchers in the 2021 prep class for some time. But, Ford garnered headlines this summer for his ability at the plate. He showed notable growth offensively, especially with his power ability. After hitting just one home run in his first three years as a member of the North Cobb High School team in Georgia, Ford smacked 12 home runs this summer and fall, he said.

That success offensively has vaulted Ford up MLB draft boards. Pro scouts now project the prep backstop as a potential first-round pick in July’s draft.

“It does not feel real,” said Ford on the draft attention. “This is something we all dream of our whole lives, and it sort of just gets thrown at you all at once. There is not any easing into it. It’s just one day you have a bunch of pro scouts calling you. It’s just a crazy feeling because it makes you realize how close you are to getting to that point.”

Ford has outstanding athleticism for a catcher. He has above-average arm strength and quick actions behind the plate. He also has the leadership traits teams seek in a catcher and has called his own games since freshman year.

Over the last year, Ford has dedicated time to learning proper sequencing and understanding how to call a game effectively. He prides himself on being a student of the game, as he consistently watches video of major league catchers, he said.

His arm strength and athleticism have caused scouts to also envision Ford as a center fielder. Although he wants to refine his outfield skills to have position versatility, Ford hopes to remain at catcher long-term.

“I think my biggest strength right now is my catching ability,” Ford said. “I feel like my hitting I have really good power and all of that, but it doesn’t always show every game. But I feel like every game I catch, I put out my best stuff.”

Ford has made strides with his offensive skills over the last six months. The right-handed hitter has a narrow stance and keeps his hands low while using a leg kick as a timing mechanism. He consistently barrels up pitches and drives the ball.

In the offseason, Ford hopes to add additional strength to his 5-foot-10, 187-pound frame while also refining his offensive tools.

“I want to be more polished and more consistent with the stuff I do,” Ford said. “I know I have all the skills and everything. But the difference between a pro player and a regular player is being able to show it every day. I want to come out like a physical beast. I want to come out even stronger.”

Besides being a top draft prospect, Ford also is a Georgia Tech commit. Georgia Tech has consistently developed quality catchers for the pro ranks. World Series catchers Jason Varitek and Matt Wieters are the most notable catchers who played at Georgia Tech. Joey Bart, the second overall pick in the 2018 draft, also attended Georgia Tech.

Ford is eager for his baseball future, regardless of if he embarks on a pro career out of high school or attends Georgia Tech next fall. The prep catcher just hopes to show improvement throughout his senior season in preparation for the next step in his career.

“I just want to show that I can get the ball out there consistently, even if it’s not a hit or anything,” Ford said. “I just want to show that I can drive the ball when I need to or want to. I just want to have a really good defensive season, but I am not really worried about that part.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2021 MLB draft prospects here.

Video of Harry Ford

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He’s interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski IIIhttp://BaseballProspectJournal.com
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on The3rdManIn.com, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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