Player: Chris Okey
Drafted by: San Diego Padres (No. 928 overall)
DOB: 12/29/1994 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/180 lbs.
School: Eustis High School (FL)
Previously Drafted: N/A
Okey came on strong last summer, parlaying his experience with Team USA's 16-and-under squad in 2010 into a spot on the 18-and-under team, where he emerged as one of the top all-around players in the country.
Ever since, he's been high on draft boards for his talent both at the plate and behind it.
At first glance, Okey resembles Alex Bregman, who spurned a 29th-round offer from Boston to sign with LSU a year ago. Bregman has emerged as one of the top hitters in college baseball this season, and there's ample reason to believe that Okey could do the same if he heads to Clemson.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Pure hitting ability is a plus; great feel at the plate; projects for a high average; good bat speed; not a lot of movement in his lower half; patient but aggressive hitter; has looked great on the showcase circuit, even against premium velocity; will need to get a better handle on breaking pitches in order to reach his full potential at the plate.
Have to dream on the power for right now; doesn't show much in-game power, but puts on solid displays in batting practice; even if power develops, shouldn't hit more than 10-15 home runs per season; even if power doesn't develop, he'll hit enough to warrant being a viable threat at the plate.
Not great speed, but not a liability either; solid athletic frame that shouldn't cause worries about putting on more weight, meaning he shouldn't get much slower.
Excellent defensive ability all over the diamond; like Bregman, could play a multitude of positions, including second and third base or in the outfield; has been playing behind the plate since he was seven years old; possesses a strong arm and quick release; very athletic movements behind the plate; quick to his feet and as graceful as a catcher can be; excellent leadership skills that should help him lead a pitching staff.
Okey's arm strength is a definite plus; produced the best pop time (1.80) at Perfect Game Showcase in 2011; incredibly quick release; clocked as high as 84 mph from behind the plate at PG; clean throwing mechanics.
MLB Player Comparison: Kurt Suzuki
Projection: perennial Gold Glove-caliber defender; .300 hitter with lots of doubles.
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 50%
Like Bregman, Okey has a strong college commitment. Clemson hasn't had a catcher of his quality in at least a decade, so whichever team selects him will have to pony up an above-slot bonus in order to sign him.