2016 Draft Profile: Chris Okey

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

 

 



About

After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.