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Seattle Mariners select Walter Ford with 74th pick in 2022 MLB Draft

Ms take 17-year-old prep pitcher with immense upside to wrap up Day One of the Draft

The Mariners capped a busy Sunday by selecting Walter Ford with their third and final pick of the day. Ford joins Cole Young and Tyler Locklear as new additions for the Mariners.

Ford is a fascinating pick for Seattle. If there was any doubt about Jerry Dipoto’s philosophy of controlling the strike zone, Sunday should make that crystal clear. If Young’s 2.2/1 BB/K ratio wasn’t enough to convince you, or Locklear’s 78 Ks to 121 BBs in college, how about Ford’s 126 strikeouts to just 30 walks this season for Pace High School in Florida. He gave up just 10 runs over 70.1 innings for Pace for a 1.00 ERA.

Ford’s best pitch is his fastball, which has reached 96 on occasion. He also has two different sliders in his arsenal. He has one that starts in the zone and breaks out of the zone and one that starts out of the zone and moves inside it.

His control is not as consistent as it could be, and probably one of the biggest reasons he was even available for the Ms at #74 in the first place, but if he is able to throw for strikes consistently, then the sky is the limit for the 17-year-old. “He has an electric arm, extremely athletic, real big upside,” Mariners scouting director Scott Hunter said. “It’ll probably take a little bit of time to harness how quick his stuff is coming along, but it is exciting to get a young pitcher to start in the lower levels of our organization.”

Ford committed to Alabama to both hit and pitch; it does not seem like that is on the table in Seattle, but it’s something to think about if MLB ever reverses course on the DH.

Ford is another guy that potentially elongates the window for the Mariners. Based on Hunter’s comments and just how young he is (he was four days away from being born in 2005. That doesn’t feel possible), it seems like he’ll be working his way through the minors for a handful of years. It is quite possible that his arrival in Seattle syncs up with the next wave of prospects that include Harry Ford (no relation), Edwin Arroyo, and now Cole Young too. Ford is an easy one to dream on for Mariners fans.

“We’re really banking on the athlete and just the pure arm talent for our pitching guys to take under their wings and develop,” Hunter said. “But the ingredients are all there.”

Scott Hunter expressed confidence that all three players selected in today’s Draft should sign without too much difficulty. As for Ford, he’s already changed his Twitter profile picture to a Mariners compass rose S (shoot him a follow @vanilla_missile).