The Red Sox made their first (minor) splash of the offseason on Tuesday, as the club re-signed nine minor-league free agent to minor-league contracts for the 2021 season, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo and SoxProspects’ Chris Hatfield.
Those nine minor-leaguers, as indicated in the above tweet from Hatfield, are right-handers Seth Blair, Raynel Espinal, and Caleb Simpson, left-hander Stephen Gonsalves, catchers Jhonny Pereda and Roldani Baldwin, first baseman Josh Ockimey, first baseman/outfielder Joey Meneses, and outfielder Johan Mieses.
Five of these nine players were at one point or another part of the Sox’ 60-man player pool this past season, and therefore spent some time at the alternate training site in Pawtucket.
Ockimey and Baldwin, meanwhile, are the only two listed here who have been with the Red Sox since before the 2019 Rule 5 Draft last December.
Speaking of Ockimey, the recently-turned 25-year-old slugger may just be the most notable name here, at least among Red Sox fans, despite having yet to make his major-league debut.
The former fifth-round draft selection out of Philadelphia has been with Boston since 2014. Most recently, he clubbed 25 home runs and collected 57 RBI over 122 games (468 plate appearances) for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2019.
Power has never been the problem for Ockimey, as he has crushed 14 or more homers in each of the last four seasons, excluding 2020, of course. Despite being such a threat at the plate, the left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing first baseman has yet to get a shot at the next level.
The Red Sox, led by chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, clearly like Ockimey enough to keep him around as depth at a fairly important position, but do they value him enough to eventually purchase his contract and see what he can do in the majors?
All signs point to no on that front thus far, but it should be somewhat interesting to watch Ockimey next spring considering the light tower power he is capable of providing at any given moment.