With the 164th pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, the Boston Red Sox selected high school first baseman Josh Ockimey out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Well this is a surprise. The Red Sox have spent recent drafts avoiding first basemen like the plague, at least in the upper rounds. In fact, they haven't taken one in the top five rounds since 2006, when they drafted Aaron Bates in the third. Now 2014 has seen them take not one, but two power-hitting first basemen in their first six picks. First Sam Travis, and now Josh Ockimey.
Looking at Ockimey, there's no mistaking him for what he is. At 6'4" and 220 pounds, Ockimey is a big guy who might get bigger still. He's a left-handed hitter, but if you're worried about what that means in Fenway Park, Ockimey has already taken his swings on the hallowed ground of Fenway, and he's proven capable of clearing the right field fence more than once, and done so at just 18 years old.
The Red Sox seem to have come to this draft with a plan: power, power, and more power. Michael Chavis brings it from the left side of the infield, and both Sam Travis and Josh Ockimey can hammer the all from the right side. Perhaps this is a reaction to the value the market's placing on power these days, or perhaps it's a reaction to how flush the team seems to be with talent up the middle. Personally, my money's on the latter.
Whatever the case, whenever you get a power bat in the fifth round, there are going to be some blemishes. Ockimey is young, which means there's room for growth, but also a chance to fall well short of his ceiling. And with little to speak of in terms of his glove, Ockimey will need to hit if he's going to make it in the majors. If he does, though, he's got the opportunity to put on a real show.