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?