Ryan L. Fox
With the 2019 International League season just around the corner, there are definitely going to be a mix of new and old faces on the Pawtucket Red Sox. Instead of waiting till April for the Media Guide to come out, yours truly has taken it upon himself to introduce (or in some cases re-introduce) some of the 2019 PawSox squad for you.
We kick off this little 'getting to know you' series by first introducing an up and coming power first baseman Josh Ockimey, who some might consider as a possible future first baseman candidate up in Boston.
Full Name: Joshua Michael Ockimey
Date of Birth: October 18, 1995
Age Going into 2019 Season: 23
Position: First Base (1B)
Acquired: Drafted in 5th Round by the Boston Red Sox (164th overall) during 2014 MLB Draft
Background Prior to 2018
Josh was drafted out of SS. Nuemann & Goretti Catholic High School in the 5th round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft by the Boston Red Sox.
He signed on June 24 that year and was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in the Rookie League. Josh appeared in 36 games with the GCL Red Sox, hitting .188 (21-for-112) with 0 home runs, 10 RBIs, 14 walks drawn, and 37 strikeouts while slashing an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .292/.232/.524. He also helped the GCL Red Sox capture the 2014 GCL Championship as well.
In 2015, he was promoted to Short Season-A Lowell. In 56 games with the Spinners, Josh hit .266 (53-for-199) with 4 home runs, 38 RBIs, 25 walks drawn, and 78 strikeouts while slashing an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .349/.422/.771. He was also named the 2015 New York-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star Team.
Then in 2016, Josh was promoted to the Greenville Drive in Low-A. In 117 games with the Drive, Josh’s numbers improved in certain aspects like in home runs (18), RBIs (62), walks drawn (88), and an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .364/.425/.789. However his batting average dipped to .226 (92-for-407) and had a significant increase in strikeouts (129). Nevertheless, Josh was still named the 2016 South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star Team.
Like in the previous seasons, Josh was promoted before the start of the season. This time it was to the Salem Red Sox in Advanced-A. Josh played in 100 games for the Drive, hitting .275 (96-for-349) with 11 home runs, 63 RBIs, 66 walks drawn, and 110 strikeouts while slashing an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .388/.438/.827. Josh was also named to both the 2017 South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star Team as well the South Atlantic Post-Season All-Star Team.
On August 1, Josh was promoted from Advanced-A to Double-A where he finished the 2017 season with the Portland Sea Dogs. Josh appeared in 31 games for the Sea Dogs, hitting .272 (28-for-103) with 3 home runs, 11 RBIs, 17 walks drawn, and 33 strikeouts while slashing an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .372/.427/.799. He was also named the 2017 MiLB.com Organization All-Star for the Boston Red Sox at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
2018 Season Review
Josh suffered a hamstring injury during spring training and was placed on the 7-day disabled list on April 3 prior to the start of the Double-A season. He was then activated off the disabled list on April 17 and played with the Portland Sea Dogs. Josh appeared in 90 games, hitting .254 (79-for-311) with 15 home runs, 56 RBIs, 59 walks, and 112 strikeouts, slashed an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .370/.473/.842, and had a fielding percentage of .976 (537 putouts, 35 assists, 14 errors) in 71 games (70 started) while playing first base.
On August 3, Josh was called up to Triple-A Pawtucket where he finished out the rest of the 2018 minor league season. He also recorded a .956 fielding percentage (120 putouts, 9 assists, 6 errors) in 20 games (18 started) playing first base in Pawtucket.
Josh was also named to the 2018 Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star Team as well as was named the MiLB.com Organization All-Star for the Boston Red Sox for the second consecutive year.
Josh then finished up the year playing in the Arizona Fall League along with fellow Red Sox farm players 3B Bobby Dalbec, LHP Dawinzon Hernandez, 2B Esteban Quiroz, RHP Mike Shawaryn, RHP Teddy Stankiewicz, and LHP Josh Taylor. Josh appeared in 18 games for the Mesa Solar Sox, hitting .172 (11-for-64) with 1 home run, 9 RBIs, 9 walks drawn, 26 strikeouts, while slashing an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .280/.250/.530. During those 18 games, Josh played 10 games at first base while recording a .988 field percentage (77 putouts, 5 assists, 1 error).
2019 Season Preview
Going into the 2019 season, Josh was ranked the 25th prospect overall in the Red Sox Farm System by MLB.com. Many scouting reports have raved about 2 things: power and work ethic.
Already Josh has shown that he has the ability to hit power lefty as one scout has noted that he is "...capable of hitting 20-25 home runs a year and could approach 30 a year in his peak..." (SoxProspects.com). There is some concern about his defensive play (i.e. limited only to playing first base, lack of natural instinct) but many scouts have also noted that Josh is working hard to improve those, including arriving at the ball park early prior to games to workout and talk with coaches.
Already many have penciled Josh to be the starting 1B with the Pawtucket Red Sox but the more likely scenario is that he’ll be platooning with fellow 1B Sam Travis throughout the season as well as spend time in the DH role.
Currently Josh is playing down in Ft. Myers with the Boston Red Sox during spring training as a Non-Roster Invitee.
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