Get To Know the Newest Yankee: Mike Ford
Belle Mead, NJ native Mike Ford received the call to the bigs on April 16 after Greg Bird landed on the injured list. Ford will be the third Yankee called up to make his major league debut already in 2019 (Thairo Estrada, Joe Harvey). The 6-9 Yankees currently have 11 players on the Injured List, but Bird’s injury has given a Yankee that has been on the verge of an MLB call up for years an opportunity.
Ford played three seasons as a two-way player at Princeton University, but not knowing if he wanted to pitch or hit in pro ball took him off many MLB teams radar. He went undrafted in 2013 despite being the Ivy League Player and Pitcher of the Year while hitting .320 and pitching to an ERA under 1.00.
When his name wasn’t called, Ford went to play in the prestigious College Cape Cod league. In his first 26 games, Ford blew up at the plate and hit .407 with five home runs. Offers started rolling in from major league teams and Ford decided to sign with his favorite team growing up, the New York Yankees.
Immediately after signing, Ford’s success continued and in 2014 he hit .292 with 13 home runs with A-Charleston and A+ Tampa. By 2017, Ford had reached Triple-A and was a call away from the bigs. At that time, Chris Carter and Garrett Cooper shared the first base role. In 2018, Bird and Luke Voit did.
Ford had a pretty good spring in 2019, playing in 11 games with the big league club. He was sent to Triple-A Scranton to begin 2019 and immediately began to prove he deserved an MLB role, hitting .410 with five homers in 10 games before Tuesday’s call-up.
Bird’s injury, a plantar fascia tear in his left foot gives him an undetermined timetable, so Ford could be in the bigs for some time. He will be suited up for the Bronx Bombers in their home series against the Red Sox starting Tuesday April, 16.