School: Clemson University; Class: Junior
Position: C; B/T: R/R
Height: 5-11; Weight: 195
Previously Drafted: San Diego Padres, 31st round, 2013
Background: A three-year starter at Clemson University, Okey transformed from a light-hitting backstop during his freshman season (.248/.311/.350) into a bonafide middle-of-the-lineup thumper the following year. In 61 games for the Tigers in 2015, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound backstop slugged a robust .315/.389/.545 while leading the team in homeruns (12) and finishing second in doubles (16) and RBI (57). He also was named as a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist and a First Team All-American by NCBWA and Perfect Game.
After struggling a bit with Team USA last summer – he batted .138/3242/.207 in 13 games – Okey is in the midst of a career-season in 2016, hitting .330/.450/.577 with 16 doubles, a pair of triples, and 12 dingers in his first 278 trips to the plate.
For his career, Okey is sporting a .298/.385/.491 triple-slash line.
Projection: Consider the following: between 2011 and 2015, there have been 14 catchers that have hit at least .320/.440/.560 (260+ plate appearances. Of those 14, four have been first round draft picks: Mike Zunino, Kevin Plawecki, Kyle Schwarber (twice), and Max Pentecost. And another two – Jake Lowery and Joe Jackson – were taken in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively.
Okey has solid-average power, likely peaking in the 15-homer territory in the professional ranks, with a strong eye. The main concern, however, has been his propensity to swing-and-miss throughout his career; he’s career strikeout percentage is hovering around 16%; he’s also fanned in more than 18% of his plate appearances in 2016 as well.
Depending how his defense grades out, Okey might be able to carve out a couple fringy league-average years if everything goes the right way.
Ceiling: 1.5- to 2.0-win player
Floor: 1.0-win player
Risk: Moderate to High
Grade: Second/Third Round