POTD: Mike Ford
Centaur, indeed


Isabelle Minasian writes a sparkling piece on Mike Ford that starts wittily, gets witty in the middle, and finishes wittily as it fades to black.  Don't be afraid to give it a look.

Isabelle characterizes Ford as a "centaur," a baseball prospect constructed with a part from this position over here and that one over there, and she gingerly comps him to John Olerud.  Meaning:

1) Inflexible first baseman

2) Very little power for a 1B

3) BB's and K's that "make you think the Fangraphs columns are make you playing tricks on your eyes" (Heh!)

And there's a .gif that will convince you that Ford has more than enough teeth in his mouth to force MLB pitchers to give him his walks.  Here, compare this little launch angle piece and what Perpetua calls the "Nitro Zone."


Minasian points out, also, that there is a fine spot for an OBP player in front of the swatters in the '18 Mariner lineup.  She points out Clay Davenport's projections for Ford (.250/.340/.420) and remarks that the 50th percentile in these projections would make Ford a 2-WAR guy, and our best first baseman in 10 years.

If your 50-50 projection is 2 wins a year, one would think you could hold a spot without having to waiver it, but then there's also the question of what your better-than-50 projection is.  Olerud his first year here batted .285 with average defense, 14 homers, a 115 OPS+ but 102 walks, and by the formulas we use to measure these things that is 3.6 WAR.



You know, there's no particular reason that a 1B ought not to be able to dive left and right, and cut off as many base hits as any other infielder - certainly no reason he couldn't do it as often as the 3B.  And yet there seems to be no such thing as a +10 runs defensive 1B?

The reason we ask is because Evan White is supposed to be a glove wizard at first base.  Yet if you look at defensive charts there it seems next to impossible to find a 1B contributing more than +9.8 runs defensively ... per career.  You can find them with good UZR's, but not with good Def Val's.  That's not true at 3B or any other position.  (Erstad, the ONLY exception we found, did manage +84.7 runs defensively at first over the course of his career.)

There must be something Dr. D is missing here.  Where are the Brooks Robinson 1B's?


Dr D




In what has to be the weirdest move I've ever seen the Rays make...including all of their terrible years...the Rays traded actual players to the Angels for Mike Ford. Er...I mean C.J. Cron...and DFA'd Corey Dickerson to make room for him.


For an outfielder, Dickerson makes a great DH...but...the man can hit...has done so consistently, albeit without many walks...

To heck with Ford...can we get the experienced guy who is already what Ford wishes he were? For...like...free???? (OK...if we get him, we have to pay his piddling 6 million dollar salary)


Dickerson even has the key lack of platoon split that sets Ford apart from our other 1b options.  Although I see a lack of 1b experience with him.  He's a useful enough player that I'd worry about his fit at the end of March.  Who DFAs a healthy player with an .800 OPS projection anyway?

I guess they needed Cron because Dipoto finally said no to TB and Oakland already traded all their 1b here...But seriously, that trade looks stupid to me too.

Does that mean there's hope that a front office might give us a pitcher at Cliff Lee prices? 


A role I like him much better for, TBH. We still have Healy for 1B, and, you may recall we have this guy who used to be a gold glove second baseman who we turned into an outfielder just for giggles..he could play 2B and Cano 1B when you need to rest Healy.


the Ackley curse by putting a guy in center who should have always been there.

Also if Cruz has actually been working hard at 1b that could be an option.  Put anyone at DH that way.  I'd love to see Dickerson brought in and don't think it would be difficult to fit him.  Having Heredia as AAA depth wouldn't be so bad.

I'm pretty hopeful for all the 1b options still but see Vog as 3rd in line currently.  What I saw in videos when he was acquired isn't what I saw in his brief stints up.  I'm not worried about 1b anyway. 


Back on the 15th, when I last posted about Ford, I originally included a prediction that we would see Ford in the OF during ST.  Ah, then I deleted that portion, thinking it was a little bit out on a limb.

And then this from LL today:  

Even had him in Florida working with Gamel, Gordon and an OF coach.  


I'm not surprised because scouting reports tend to say he's got just enough athleticism to potentially play corner OF.  I read it more than once at least.  Will they do the same with White who actually profiles better for a corner? 


.....that it would be hard to be as athletic as he was in college and not be able to shag some flies and have a decent arm.  And it makes sense that the M’s would explore every reason to keep him around.  

Heck, he should probably pitch a couple of ST innings, too.  :)


Looking at various projections, I'm thinking Ford may be a better fit than Healy - FanGraphs has Healy at 0.3 WAR and Ford at 0.2 - with Healy having ~5x the PAs. Here's to Ford making the most of ST.

Meanwhile, I'm also struck by the similarity between projections for Corey Dickerson and those for Mitch Haniger. What a 6-7 R-L combo they might make.

Just going by ZIPS wOBA projections, a Gordon-Segura-Cano-Cruz-Seager-Haniger-Dickerson-Zunino-Ford lineup goes  .290 - .307 - .332 - .346 - .347 - .325 - .325 - .314 - .324.  That would be a tough lineup to navigate through - L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L. Gamel as the 4th OF gives a fast PR and an OF capable of all 3 spots.

Trading for Dickerson before he goes on waivers might be more than the Ms want to give up (Festa?, Gillies?). But Oakland gets to pick off waivers before the Ms, and that would be a classic Orc move. Dickerson in LF for the Ms would really add some thump.


And their Haniger projections don't even resemble a bad year by Mantle.  Just saying,  .360+.

Ford in LF and Healy at 1b could work too.  Ford and Gamel vs. more RHSP, Ford and Healy vs. LHSP.

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