Harry Ford had never recorded four hits in a professional game. He’d never driven in five runs. Despite 60-grade speed, he had never tripled.
“It was really fun,” Ford, MLB’s No. 82 overall prospect, said. “We just had a lot of momentum coming into today. It was really a battle all series and we brought it out.
“Coming into it I felt really good but everything just worked out well for me today.”
Ford’s two triples were nearly identical, chasing 66ers center fielder Alexander Ramirez straight back to the deepest part of San Manuel Stadium. Not that there was any chance of throwing Ford out; the uniquely speedy catcher didn’t even coax a relay throw on the second triple, which also drove in a pair of runs. He ran so fast he barely had time to recognize his first three-baggers as a pro.
“I realized at the end of the game,” last summer’s 12th overall pick said. “I was thinking if I had ever hit a triple before and I didn’t think I had. That was pretty cool.”
Despite being in the lineup as the designated hitter, multi-triple games from backstops are a relatively rare feat. Only two Minor League catchers — Detroit’s Dillon Dingler and Colorado’s Brian Serven — accomplished it last season, while Ford is the first to join the list in 2022.
To Ford, though, he’s simply a fast baseball player.
“I don’t really think of it as a position thing,” he said. “I just want to be as well-rounded as I can. I’m glad I have speed to contribute to that, but I’m just trying to be the best baseball player I can be, not just a catcher.”
Ford put the game to rest with a three-run home run in the seventh inning, drilling a slider on the outer edge of the plate over the right-center field fence. It capped a huge night that only raised his season-long line to .216/.381/.345 as the 19-year-old continues to adjust to pitching at the full-season level.
“It’s been tough. I wouldn’t say I’ve had a bad year, it’s just taken some time to figure stuff out,” Ford said. “Hopefully this is a spark for the next few weeks, and I’m feeling good right now so I’m sure it will be.”
Perhaps a near-cycle can be the necessary catalyst for a strong second half. About that — does Ford regret not pulling in at second on one of those triples to complete the feat?
“No shot,” he said, laughing. “If I had another chance I would’ve ran to third again.”