PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the top prospects in the minor league system of the Boston Red Sox spent his high school days punishing pitchers in the Catholic League here in Philadelphia.
Neumann-Goretti product Josh Ockimey is enjoying a fine season for Boston’s Single-A squad in the Carolina League, the Salem Red Sox.
A first baseman, the 21-year-old Ockimey is enjoying what is probably his best season as a pro to this point, batting .278 with 11 home runs and he is tied for the lead in the Carolina League with 63 runs batted in.
“One thing we really worked on this year is rhythm,” Ockimey told KYW Newsradio after a recent game in Wilmington. “Being on time and being in a good position to hit. One thing me and our mental strength coach talk about is really trusting yourself and keeping things positive. So all year, whether I’m 2 for 15 or 1 for 20, tomorrow’s a new day, tomorrow’s a great day to go 4 for 4. So that’s one thing I’ve really been working on and I definitely see the difference.”
The left-handed hitter has also shown a good eye at the plate. So far he has 65 walks this season, helping him to a .393 on-base percentage.
Ockimey was a fifth-round draft pick of Boston out of high school back in 2014 and he has moved up a level in the organization every year since then.
The ball really jump off Ockimey’s bat and while he can obviously hit the ball out of the yard, he says it’s not a real focus for him.
“One thing I’ve really been trying to do this year is more focus on gap-to-gap, not really going for power,” he says. “If you get it, it goes, but I really just want to hit a line drive in the gap somewhere.”
Ockimey remembers his high school days at Neumann-Goretti fondly.
“It made me the player I am today,” he says. “They always taught inner city toughness and I take that into today’s game. We’re not going to back down, we’re here to kick butt and take names.”
If you have any doubt of the impact that Ockimey had on the Saints’ program, consider that his number at Neumann Goretti has been retired.
“That was a great honor,” Ockimey says. “Number 30, that’s been my number since I was 11 or 12. It was a great honor.”
Ockimey and the Salem Red Sox host Frederick on Friday night.