Major League free agency remains in a transactions freeze, but teams are still inking players to minor league pacts as we await a new collective bargaining agreement. Here’s a quick look at a couple former prospects of note who’ve agreed to deals in recent days…
- The Phillies signed former Red Sox prospect and Philadelphia native Josh Ockimey to a minor league contract, as announced by Ockimey himself (on Twitter). The 26-year-old slugger was Boston’s fifth-round pick back in 2014 and consistently ranked among the organization’s top 25 prospects at Baseball America throughout his time there, peaking at No. 10 in the 2016-17 offseason. A left-handed-hitting first baseman, Ockimey posted solid numbers up through Double-A before beginning to struggle in Triple-A. He’s still drawn his walks (16.6%) and hit for power (.221 ISO) at the minors’ top level, but Ockimey’s 31.4% strikeout rate in Triple-A has contributed to a .214/.349/.435 overall slash line in 933 plate appearances there. He’ll give the Phillies some additional depth at first and at designated hitter — assuming the universal DH is implemented after the lockout, as expected.
- Catcher Chris Betts is headed to the Dodgers on a minor league contract, per the transactions log at MLB.com. The 24-year-old was the No. 52 overall pick by the Rays back in 2015 but missed his first full season after requiring Tommy John surgery. He ranked among Tampa Bay’s top prospects at Baseball America up until the 2018 season but has struggled to stay healthy throughout his pro career. Betts appeared in a career-high 110 games with the Rays’ Class-A affiliate in ’19, hitting .210/.333/.400 in 472 plate appearances. He appeared in just 27 games and tallied only 89 plate appearances in 2021, but he’ll give the Dodgers a once well-regarded catching prospect to stash in the middle levels of their system in 2022, if healthy. Betts drew praise for his bat speed and raw power back when BA ranked him as the 2015 draft’s No. 28 overall prospect, but he’s a project for the Dodgers at this point.
Good luck to Ock
Great.another1b that can’t hit, only walk
Brewers signing of Chadwick Pennyfeather could be huge come June.
The Dodgers’ have doubled their betts
Now if they could just snag that other Max Muncy with the same birthday.
hmm interesting platoon there with Hall/Ockimey in AAA
Crap move by the Phillies. Waste of a roster spot. No way this guy will ever see the bigs.
Please go away.
Not using a roster spot other than at AA or Triple A for which he is perfect and blocking no one. He is the same as most other roster fillers across the minors, 90% of whom are not going to mlb players.
Mikemc – Ockimey had 40 HRs over his last 2 AAA seasons. He is and probably will never see the MLB as he is roster depth in AAA. Someone needs to play those games. Your comment show how little you understand about professional baseball !!!
Another great article Steve.
Josh Ockimey is ready to hit major league pitching today. His biggest issue is that he is strictly a platoon player; he can not hit lefties to save his life. His lefty / right splits are worlds apart. I hope Ockimey finds his way on to the Phillies’ roster in 2022; he’s worked really hard and deserves a chance. Wish him nothing but the best.
Josh Ockimey is from South Philly. He played his high school home games about ten minutes from Citizens Bank Park.. I wish him luck!
That’s cool the Doyers signed Betts brother. Reminds me when the Knicks signed Chris Smith.
Reminds me of when the Detts signed the Boyers, Clete and Ken and Cloyd. Alba had some team that year. The Alba Detts. They had 26 on the roster.
Still no moves by the Guardisns?
Always loved Ockimey. His pop just never developed though and it’s a shame. He’s not a DH by any means, but could be a plug and play 1b if his career progresses at this point.
Mookie must be excited to see his brother join the organization.
The Phillies keep signing these AAA guys so they can win the division with them this year while the strike continues for the MLB guys.Just a thought LOL
Bob – these AAA depth signings happen every year, but some “fans” never seem to notice them. This year with the lockout NO MLB signing, 40-man roster trades, Free Agents can be completed until the lockout is over….maybe you just forgot.
With the DH likely headed to the NL a good spring could get Ockimey in line for a roster spot.