Back in 2019, the New York Yankees needed Mike Ford to perform like he had done it in the minor leagues for so long. And he mostly did, impressing everybody en route to a .259/.350/.559 line with 12 homers and 25 RBIs in 50 games.
Last season, though, wasnâ€™t as good for Ford, who slumped to a .135 average in 74 at-bats. This time, however, he came in well-prepared to impress in the first chance he had with the Yankees.
The husky first baseman told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he dropped around 20 pounds in his quest to get to the 2021 season in the best possible shape. A normal winter schedule certainly helped.
“With the layoff last year, we never really knew when we were going to get back to play and I think some guys struggled with it,” Ford said. “It was tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not an excuse at all, but this year I really worked hard in the offseason to set my body up to be ready to go.”
The Yankees need Ford to step up
Ford already hit a home run against Cleveland over the weekend, and said he feels in excellent shape to help the Yankees fill in for Luke Voit.
“I feel really great; I feel like I’m back to 2019 Mike,” Ford said. “I struggled last year mentally a lot. It was kind of an opportunity for me to show what I can do, and I didn’t really do that. To be able to be comfortable and confident in myself again, without just saying it and really feeling it, that is a big thing for me moving forward.”
Voit wonâ€™t return to the Yankees for at least two more weeks, perhaps more, so Ford has some time to put on a show and perhaps earn more at-bats in the future.