The Somerset Patriots have announced the signing of Major League outfielder and New Jersey native Darren Ford for the 2017 season.
“Somerset felt like home before I even signed,” said Ford. “I have never had the opportunity to play so close to home before, so I am really excited to get started. The Patriots look like a great organization, and it should be a great year.”
Ford enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and first in the Atlantic League. The speedy outfielder appeared in 33 games with the San Francisco Giants between 2010 and 2011. In that time with the Giants, Ford recorded a .286 average with seven runs scored and nine stolen bases.
The Vineland, New Jersey resident has spent the last three seasons in the Giants organization, with the majority of his time in Triple-A (Fresno, 2014; Sacramento, 2015-16). Over those three seasons, Ford stole 89 bases with 15 home runs, 84 RBI and 155 runs scored. Additionally, Ford has 141 steals in 437 games at the Triple-A level.
“Darren should provide a lot of excitement for our team and our fans this year,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “He is a solid defender in the outfield, can cover some ground and is also a tremendous base runner and base stealer. We look for Darren to get on base often so he can create some havoc and provide RBI opportunities for our lineup. He will be a huge part of our team this season and we welcome him to the Patriots family.”
There have been three seasons in which Ford stole over 60 bases (2006-08), including a 69-steals campaign in 2006 with Single-A Helena. Additionally, he has stolen at least 30 bases in seven of his 12 seasons in professional baseball; most recently in 2015 with Sacramento (33 steals).
The Chipola College alumnus owns a .264 average with 58 home runs, 413 RBI and 450 steals in his 12-year minor league career.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey July 12. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call 908-252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.