In 2019 we got to see a sample size of the big lefty Mike Ford. He had originally been called up as a backup at 1B when Luke Voit got injured and was a nobody to New York Yankees fans. He broke out towards the end of the year and captured the hearts of many Yankees fans, hitting longballs and being the power lefty bat the Yankees were looking for down the stretch. In 2020 Mike Ford could play a huge role in that lineup, and with Edwin Encarnacion’s departure to Chicago to play for the White Sox, Ford could get a lot more playing time and produce big numbers.
Undrafted and Expendable
Mike Ford went undrafted and signed as an amateur free agent in 2013 out of Princeton University. Without any status as a prospect and a long road ahead of him, Ford would play 7 seasons in the minors, and after lots of time in the farm system, he finally got his big break. He was called up and played his first MLB game on April 18th and after 8 games where he was slugging a mere .333, he was sent back down. He would be called back up and play two more games on May 1st and May 3rd, though he’d promptly be sent right back down after. After only one more game in July and another ticket right back to Scranton, it seemed like Ford was never going to get any real playing time. Then came August.
Dingers For the Dog Days
In the second half of the 2019 season, Mike Ford made pitchers pay, slashing .274/.333/.619 with a .953 OPS. He also clubbed 11 home runs in that 39 game stretch and hit his way into a starting spot for August and September. The Yankees lineup was deeper and had more variety with a power lefty bat to combat the heavily right-handed lineup. Mike Ford also had a lower strikeout rate with a high walk rate which made him a fantastic bat. He struck out 17.2% of the time compared to the MLB average of 21.7% and walked at a 10.4% clip compared to the MLB average of 8.3%. With his amazing talent at the plate, we could see Ford step up as a DH for the Yankees
A Power Lineup With Ford
The Yankees now have a power lefty bat, and with Ford, they can boast a lineup with some insane power:
Yankees Potential Lineup (With 2019 SLG %)
1. LeMahieu 2B (R) .518
2. Judge RF (R) .540
3. Stanton LF (R) .492
4. Ford DH (L) .559
5. Torres SS (R) .535
6. Sanchez C (R) .525
7. Tauchman CF (L) .504
8. Voit 1B (R) .464
9. Urshela 3B (R) .534
The Yankee lineup could be even more dangerous in 2020, especially since Stanton will be healthier and slug well above the .492 he slugged in his very limited action in 2019. With Ford bolstering the DH position, the Yankees have their lefty power bat to fit right into the heart of that lineup. With all of that offensive stardom in one lineup, the Yankees now are geared to win a Wolrd Series in 2020, and Mike Ford will be a big part of it.