Mariners invite speedster Ford to camp

Mariners invite speedster Ford to camp

Mariners invite speedster Ford to camp
SEATTLE -- Darren Ford, a speedy outfielder who was used primarily as a pinch-runner by the Giants last season, has agreed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League camp with the Mariners.

Ford, 26, stole seven bases in 12 attempts with the Giants while hitting .286 (4-for-14) in 26 games.

He also appeared in seven games in 2010 for San Francisco, never getting an at-bat while stealing two bases in three attempts.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder was designated for assignment two weeks ago by the Giants to open a spot on their 40-man roster.

Ford also split time between the Giants' Triple-A, Double-A and Rookie League clubs last year, batting a combined .265 with a .340 on-base percentage and .370 slugging percentage while stealing 18 bases in 22 chances.

He hit just .211 in 71 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno, but was 10-for-10 in stolen bases.

The speedster was a track star in high school in New Jersey and turned down a football scholarship offer to Rutgers to sign with the Brewers, who drafted him in the 18th round in 2004 when Jack Zduriencik was Milwaukee's scouting director.

Nicknamed "The Bullet," Ford has played center field in 653 of his 677 Minor League games since '05, with the other 22 games being in left field.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.