With Greg Bird heading to the IL due to a plantar fascia tear, the Yankees have called up slugging lefty-hitting first baseman Mike Ford from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Here are three things to know about him...
He was crushing it in Triple-A, but is an 'old' prospect
Ford was hitting .410/.467/.897 with five homers and four doubles in 10 games (45 plate appearances) this season in Triple-A. And while those numbers are incredibly impressive Ford -- at 26 years old -- is an "old" prospect.
His 2019 performance is also an aberration compared to how he's performed during his minor league career. In seven minor league seasons, Ford has hit .271/.372/.442 with 71 homers in 561 games.
He was briefly a Mariner, but was returned to the Yankees
Ford was taken by the Mariners in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, but was returned to the Yankees before the season. In order to keep Ford, the Mariners would have had to carry him on their 25-man roster for the entire season. They decided against it.
After being sent back to the Yankees, Ford hit .251/.326/.443 with 16 homers and 22 doubles in 108 games.
FanGraphs wrote in their scouting report of Ford last season that he was a "solid offensive player whose pure physical talent may fit best in a platoon/bench role."
Ford was undrafted out of Princeton after being named both the Ivy League pitcher and hitter of the year, and FanGraphs notes that he has "excellent" ball/strike recognition and has "just enough power" for first base.
His swing has "natural loft," accorcing to FanGraphs, which should help him when taking aim at the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
If Ford is solid in the majors, he could be a good platoon partner at first base with Luke Voit, whose meteoric rise last season as a 27-year-old also came a bit out of nowhere.