2022 MLB Draft Profile: RHP Walter Ford, Pace HS (Fla.)

Walter Ford.

Normally, a prep pitcher — or multiple prep pitchers — would have already been profiled. However, gone are the days of the Dodgers being a near lock to draft a prep pitcher in the first round. The current model has worked quite well, but a throwback might not be so bad. So, here’s a look at Walter Ford, one of the youngest players available in this draft.

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Previous Profiles

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Vitals
6’3, 198 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
DOB: Dec. 28, 2004

Location
Pace, Fla.
Commitment: Alabama

Rankings
The Athletic: 25
Baseball America: 49
CBS Sports: NR
ESPN: 47
MLB Pipeline: 53
Prospects Live: 48

Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $1,950,900

Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.

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The Dodgers are no stranger to drafting older prep players — J.T. Ginn, Maddux Bruns — but Ford lands on the other side of that spectrum. He’s one of the youngest draft-eligible player in the class after reclassifying from the 2023 class to the 2022 class.

The projectable prep righty has a low-90s fastball that has touched 97 MPH. It’s a riding fastball that plays up in the strike zone. Once he adds weight and finishes filling out, the sitting velocity could make a jump. He pairs it with a low-80s slurve that could be fleshed out to be two pitches — a curveball and a slider. As of now, it’s more slider-like, but the Dodgers could help him develop a curve to give him a viable third pitch. His changeup is there, but it’s below-average at this point (as one might expect from such a young pitcher). His command/control is a bit questionable at the moment, but there’s going to be a lot of that with a kid so young with so much potential. He has a quick delivery with a high leg kick and significant back knee dip. He released from a high three-quarters slot and has a lightning quick arm.

Like Horton before him, Ford has 2-way ability and has shown above-average power potential at third base, but his future is on the mound because of his potentially plus-stuff.

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Video

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The profile is oddly similar to Ethan Martin, whom the Dodgers drafted in the first round in 2008. Martin was also a power-hitting third baseman with a higher ceiling on the mound. He made it to the majors, but he didn’t do a ton while there. Ford is committed to Alabama and it’ll probably take a significant bonus to get him to forego it. However, he reclassified for a reason, so maybe he’s more willing to sign if he’s drafted in the 25-50 range. It’s hard to truly project him as a No. 2/3 starter, but he has all the potential to hit that ceiling (or maybe bust through it). The risk is significantly higher than most other prep pitchers in the draft, but he could also one of the highest ceilings. And an org like the Dodgers can afford to take that kind of risk.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.