Walter Ford 2022 Draft Profile

Walter Ford

Walter Ford comes into the 2022 MLB draft as the youngest player at 17-years old. He is listed as the No. 53 prospect according to He is a third baseman, and while he does have some good skills as a hitter and an infielder, his future in Major League Baseball is as a pitcher. The right-hander’s fastball has touched 97 mph, but stays around 93 to 95 mph. It’s a fastball that moves up in the strike zone. He also features a changeup and a slider.

Path to MLB Draft

Walter Ford spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons at Hoover High school in Alabama. He helped get his team to the state title game. For the season, he had a 1.85 ERA. Selected as part of USA Baseball’s 18U National Team in 2021 as one of the few underclassmen on the team. He competed with and against some of the best players.

He also worked with former MLB pitcher Brad Penny, who won 121 big league games—most notably with the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers. While Ford was on the mound, he became more comfortable with his pitches and saw his velocity rise. His notoriety went up right along with it.

After his strong showing, Ford made the decision to reclassify early last fall and fast-track his future in baseball. He graduated early, and was able to enter the 2022 MLB draft.


Ford is athletic on the mound. At 6′ 2″, 200 pounds, the right-hander’s arsenal includes a four-seam fastball, a two-seamer, a slider and a changeup. His fastball is his best pitch, relying on it more than any other. His next best pitch, his slider, got him many ground ball outs and strikeouts during his time with USA Baseball’s 18U National Team.

Working with a former a former MLB player in Penny has helped with his fastball and slider. They worked on his physical projection, and how he could throw his fastball harder, potentially into the triple digits.


A look at Ford’s weaknesses shows some inconsistency in his pitches. He tries to “over-throw” at times and has been too quick to the plate. He struggled some last season with poor pitch sequences. Ford also needs to increase his velocity. Most of those issues can be corrected by minor league pitching coaches and experience.

Another weakness comes with his age, and limited experience. Not playing against top-notch competition always is a consideration. When he is signed, he will face the best competition he has ever seen. These players all have the same thing on their minds as Ford, “I need to impress to move up, and get to the Big Leagues.” Ford will need to deal with the competition.

Also, at only 17 years of age, his mental and physical capabilities will be in question. While athletic, he will be up against people more physically developed. The mental aspects of the game, too, can be stressful. Some players can have challenges with the travel in the minor leagues. Long bus rides, and staying in motels, can add stress and wear down a player both physically and mentally.

MLB Comparison

Although there is not a lot of video featuring Walter Ford’s pitching, he appears to have a style similar to that of Jake Odorizzi of the Houston Astros. Odorizzi’s fastball is his best pitch, and his slider is very good at getting ground ball outs. He also skipped college, and was drafted at a young age. He worked his way through the minor leagues, and has had a decent MLB career.


Some teams will take a chance on Walter Ford in the draft due to his pitching arm, and that powerful fastball. If he adds weight and finishes filling out, the velocity could make a jump. A student of the game of baseball also helps Ford out. If he has good coaching around him and he is patient, he could have a very good career in the big leagues as a starter, or even a relief pitcher.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

Brad Penny, Jake Odorizzi