Top Mariners prospect Ford goes yard for Great Britain

Less than a week ago, Harry Ford was playing for the Single-A Modesto Nuts, finishing up his first full professional season. Now, the Mariners’ top prospect is doing his part to ensure Great Britain makes it to the World Baseball Classic for the first time.

The six-team Regensburg Qualifier got underway in Germany on Friday, and the 19-year-old catcher set the tone out of the leadoff spot in Great Britain’s first game, blasting a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the third and reaching base five times in a 14-4 win over France at Armin-Wolf-Arena.

Ford is fresh off putting up 11 homers, 65 RBIs, 23 steals and a .274/.425/.438 slash over 104 games for the Nuts, who concluded their campaign on Sunday.

Ford was born in Atlanta and went to North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Ga., before being selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, but he was able to join the Great Britain national team because of his ancestral ties to the United Kingdom. Both of Ford’s parents were born there, granting him dual citizenship.

Only two teams will move on from the double-elimination Regensburg Qualifier to play in the World Baseball Classic tournament in March. Next up for Great Britain is host Germany on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.