We’re reviewing all 316 players in Houston’s system through the 2022 season.
Kasey Ford is a six-foot-six, 275 lb. right-handed pitcher from Logan, UT. Born on January 10, 1998, he signed with the Astros through free agency on July 20, 2021 after going undrafted out of Kansas State University. In five collegiate seasons, he was 13-10 with a 5.41 ERA, a 1.590 WHIP, and 6.9 K/9.
After officially turning professional, Ford spent most of the rest of 2021 with the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers. He was 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA and 21 whiffs in 17 frames, along with a 1.412 WHIP. He started out 2022 where he left off, back with Fayetteville.
In his first nine games of the campaign with the Birds, Ford struck out 20 in 15 innings while allowing 10 runs on 10 walks and nine hits. Six of those runs (and five walks) all happened on June 1, in a game in which Ford retired only one batter, a 13-9 loss to the Fredericksburg Nationals. Excising that demoralizing outing from his early-season stats returns 14 2⁄3 innings, four runs a 1.023 WHIP, and 20 K’s.
On June 17, Ford made his first appearance at High-A with the Asheville Tourists. He walked three and struck out three in two innings, also giving up two hits and two runs in a 13-7 win over the Rome Braves.
Back in Fayetteville after that lone High-A outing, Ford struck out 24 over his next 18 innings, but allowed opponents a .288/.398/.480 slashline over 88 plate appearances. Whatever the case, Astros brass saw enough for Ford to eschew further work at Low-A, and joined the Tourists for the rest of the campaign.
Ford struck out seven and allowed one earned run over 6 1/3 innings to close out his season. On August 28, he struck out three over two scoreless innings, allowing only a single in an 11-2 win over the Winston-Salem Dash.
At 25, Ford has shown flashes of something special, but not enough sustained excellence for a large jump. It’s possible he starts next season with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, but more probable he begins back with the Tourists.