After starting the season 3-7, the Charleston RiverDogs have won five of their last six games to get their record back to 8-8. When we talked about Charleston early in the season, the hype surrounded players such as second baseman Gosuke Katoh, right fielder Aaron Judge, and starting pitcher Rookie Davis. However, Charleston’s cleanup hitter has been somewhat of a surprise over the first 16 games of the season.
The player I am speaking about is first/third baseman Mike Ford. Ford is hitting .321 with two home runs and nine RBI on the season and has been placed behind Judge in the batting order. Now, he has nine hits in the team’s last seven games. In 2013, Ford was a junior at Princeton University who was the first ever player to win Pitcher & Player Of The Year in the Ivy League. Despite these accomplishments, he went undrafted.
After spending part of last summer in the Cape Cod League, Ford played in 33 games last season for the Staten Island Yankees, the New York Yankees’ affiliate in short single-season A ball. In those appearances, he hit .235 with three home runs and 17 RBI. While the sample size is half of that so far this year, Ford is on pace to improve those numbers, In 15 games, he has 18 hits, two homers, and nine RBI. He has a .321 average, but his main trait is getting on base considering his .391 on-base percentage.
He is top three in nearly every hitting category for Charleston, which clearly shows his pitching days are most likely a thing of the past. He is still a work in progress, but Ford could be one the diamonds in the rough for this Charleston team if he continues on the pace he is on right now.