- Full name Joshua Michael Ockimey
- Born 10/18/1995 in Philadelphia, PA
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 238 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Neumann Goretti
Drafted in the 5th round (164th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 2014 (signed for $450,000).
View Draft ReportThe lefthanded-hitting Ockimey was picking up steam late in the draft process, showing well in predraft workouts. His name was linked to the Red Sox, who were impressed by his workouts. He is a bat-first player who will go as far as his bat takes him. Although he has an unconventional swing with little preswing movement, he made solid contact on the showcase circuit. The 6-foot-2, 214-pound Ockimey has a strong build and shows at least plus raw power in batting practice, with some scouts giving his raw power plus-plus grades. The Arkansas commit is a well below-average runner with a fringe-average arm who is likely limited to first base.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Track Record: In five pro seasons since signing for $450,000, Ockimey has shown an ability to drive balls out of the park from line to line, work counts en route to a high volume of walks, and pulverize righties, whom he tagged at a .273/.393/.531 clip in 2018. However, his swings and misses have grown at every level he’s climbed, culminating in a concerning 31-percent strikeout rate at Double-A and Triple-A.
Scouting Report: Ockimey possesses raw power and the ability to drive the ball in the air to all fields, favorable traits for a potential resident of Fenway Park. Yet while he does a good job with pitch recognition, his lack of rhythm at the plate contributes to a high-volume of swings and misses, especially against lefties. He’s also defensively limited. Despite a tremendous work ethic, most view him as a future DH with the ability to spend time at first base rather than an ideal everyday first base option.
The Future: While Ockimey concluded 2018 in Triple-A, his profile--lefthanded platoon DH/first baseman--creates a challenging path to the big leagues. Even so, some believe that he still has the ability to emerge as a more consistent hitter with significant power, with a best-case scenario of an Adam Lind-like role.
Ockimey continued to show impressive pole-to-pole raw power along with advanced plate discipline (his 83 walks ranked ninth in the minors) while posting a .274/.385/.436 line with 14 homers for high Class A Salem and Double-A Portland. Ockimey features an open stance with little shorter stride and reduced lower body movement, instead relying on his hands and impressive core and upper body strength to drive the ball. It's an approach that also comes with plenty of swing-and-miss (he struck out in 26.1 percent of plate appearances) and raises questions about whether he'll be a low-average, three-true-outcomes hitter. Evaluators are split on whether he'll continue to make sufficient defensive improvements to stay at first base or if he'll need to DH. There's also a concern among some that Ockimey might only be a platoon player. Still, there's enough power in the bat to give him opportunities, and his work ethic and makeup suggest that he'll maximize his talents. Ockimey should return to Double-A to begin 2018, with a chance to move to Triple-A in the second half. If he succeeds at the upper levels, he'll do quite a bit toward improving his stock.
The Red Sox were the primary team on Ockimey as he rose late in the 2014 draft process, ultimately taking him in the fifth round and signing him for a $450,000 bonus to pass up an Arkansas commitment. Ockimey appeared to be the organization's breakout player during the first half of 2016, when the powerful first baseman made improvements to his offensive approach to unlock his plus raw power at low Class A Greenville. He hit .297/.435/.531 en route to South Atlantic League all-star recognition, but he faded badly down the stretch, hitting .152 in the second half. Still, Ockimey managed to rank second among SAL first basemen with 18 home runs and first by a mile with 88 walks. He made plenty of progress compared with 2015 by improving his walk rate from 11 percent to 18 percent and dropping his strikeout rate from 34 percent to 26 percent. At his best, Ockimey displays at least plus power to all fields, though he lost that approach and became pull-heavy down the stretch in a way that resulted in an uptick of whiffs. He will need to make considerable strides against lefties after hitting .192 in 2016 if he is to profile as more than a platoon option. Ockimey has the upside of a middle-of-the-order hitter who is average defensively at first base, and he has shown a strong work ethic and the aptitude to make considerable strides.
As a high school first baseman with size and head-turning power in Philadelphia, it became impossible for Ockimey to avoid comparisons with Ryan Howard. Given that Howard emerged as one of the best power hitters in the game after being taken as a fifth-rounder in 2001, Ockimey--taken by the Red Sox in the 2014 fifth round--could do worse as a basis for comparison. Ockimey showed some impressive attributes as a 19-year-old at short-season Lowell in 2015, hitting .266/.349/.422 with four homers and 20 extra-base hits. Though he struck out 34.1 percent of the time, Ockimey received high marks for his hard work that netted sizable improvements in his first year after being drafted, and he was Boston's offensive standout at instructional league, showing plus power in launching three homers to right-center field. He still requires significant defensive improvement to be a first baseman, and given that he is limited to first base, he'll have to hit his way to the big leagues, but given the potential for plus power, Ockimey has shown the upside of an everyday player.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Boston Red Sox in 2018