Red Sox Prospects To Watch This Summer

Following key trades over the past year, Red Sox prospects have been hard to find. But as May begins, here are five young players to watch through the summer months.

Danny Mars – Portland, OF

The sixth round draft pick in 2014 is second on the team in average (.313) and slugging red sox prospects(.500). At 23, the Mars is already excelling beyond expectations at Double-A, meaning that by the end of the year he could find himself in Pawtucket. However, the Red Sox young and talented outfield already poses a roadblock to Mars.

Jalen Beeks – Portland, LHP

So far in 2017, the southpaw from Arkansas is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in four starts. Beeks (pictured above) is also averaging 6.5 K’s per game and has a WHIP of 1.08. After spending the second half of 2016 in Double-A as well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Beeks makes his way to Pawtucket as well.

Aneury Tavarez – Pawtucket, OF

Tavarez, on the other hand, has already been called up to Triple-A this season. While with the Sea Dogs, he was batting .377 with 6 stolen bases. But like Mars, he also faces the reality of a crowded outfield not only at the big club but also with the PawSox. Never the less, he is one of the most well-rounded Red Sox prospects in the entire organization.

Shaun Anderson – Greenville, RHP

In 27.2 innings pitched with Greenville this season, Anderson has 24 K’s, averaging just under one per inning. And with a 0.98 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP, the young righty could move quickly through the low minors in a bullpen role. Anderson’s professional role is ambiguous because he pitched for Florida in college and was the closer simply because the staff was so deep.

Josh Ockimey – Salem, 1B

Ockimey is a Cherington draftee whose ascension through the minors has been steadily progressing. But so far this season, the 6’1″ 215-pound infielder has excelled with Salem, batting .347 with a .549 SLG. Scouts also point to Ockimey’s impressive power and work ethic. By season’s end, I  project that he could play his way into Double-A games.

Josh Ockimey Looking to Impress in 2015

josh ockimey

Last year in the MLB draft, the Boston Red Sox snagged two of the top power hitting first baseman available— Sam Travis and Josh Ockimey. While Travis established himself as a first baseman by playing well in the Cape Cod League and at Indiana, Ockimey was a little more unknown, drafted out of high school.
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Arguably possessing the best raw power tools in the Red Sox farm system, Boston swooped up Ockimey in the fifth round after hearing about his 420-foot home runs in high school while hitting from the left side of the plate.josh ockimey

A top recruit of Indiana University, Boston not only took away their star first baseman, but their first baseman of the future. Attending high school in Philadelphia, it makes sense why Josh Ockimey drew comparisons to Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard.

“I think I have always been considered a power hitter,” Ockimey told Yawkey Way Report. “Even throughout my little league and high school days.”

At 6-foot-3 230 pounds now, Ockimey has the frame of an excellent power hitter and could even stand to put on more weight over the years to build power.
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Playing high school baseball in the north, Ockimey was forced to make a huge jump to professional baseball when the Red Sox assigned him to the Gulf Coast League.

“The toughest part of the transfer from high school to professional baseball was realizing that it’s an ‘everyday job,'” Ockimey said reflecting on the season. “I mean that as that it is my profession I chose to ‘live it’. Also consistency— in order to move higher in the minor leagues you have to be more consistent in your game.”

Making the transition to the pros was challenging for Ockimey, like it is for many young talents who struggle at first. Hitting .188 this past summer, he did manage to draw 14 walks, showing the potential for plate discipline.
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The first year of professional ball is never easy for young prospects. For example, Bryce Brentz hit .198 in the Lowell Spinners back in 2010 and the next season, he hit 30 home runs. Typically, pro players fare much better in their second pro seasons. Putting in extra work in the off season allows them to compete at such an elite level.

“What I worked on most this off season was overall body strength and conditioning. Also, I worked on consistency in my swing.”
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For Ockimey, it is his bat that will carry him through the ranks of the Red Sox farm system. Possibly slated to begin the 2015 season in short-season Lowell, he will have a chance to prove himself there and Boston is confident that he could develop into an excellent big league power hitter down the road— if all goes according to plan.

“My goals this season are to improve my game offensively, defensively and mentally. Offensively by being more consistent with the bat, defensively by making more plays and being quicker around the bat and mentally by having a more experienced professional approach to the game.”