The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted Nevada right-handed pitcher Grant Ford in the fifth round of the 2019 draft. Ford has been strictly a reliever in his three years at Nevada, working as a closer at times this year.
He put up a 2.76 ERA and a 51:13 K/BB ratio in 45.2 innings this year. That’s a big improvement over his first two years, when he had a 7.88 ERA in 88 innings combined, with a 31 walks in 31 innings during the 2018 season.
I couldn’t find much information on his stuff, other than seeing reports that he had the best stuff of the UNLV draft class. This video is from 2015, but it does give you a look at his stuff a few years ago.
He looks to have filled out since that video, currently at 6′ 1″, 175 pounds. He wasn’t listed in the top 500 by BA, and seems like a reach for this pick. That looks like another potential bonus pool saving move, with those types of moves starting to stack up on day two.
UPDATE 3:57 PM: According to Baseball America, Ford throws his fastball in the 94-97 MPH range and pairs it with a firm slider in the upper-80s.+ posts
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.