Boston Red Sox prospect Josh Ockimey is not afraid to fight racism.
Boston Red Sox prospect Josh Ockimey has been in the system since 2014, when he was a fifth-round draft pick. The first baseman was soon one of the top prospects in the entire organization, with raw power that made him very intriguing.
Since then, Ockimey has fallen down the prospect ladder. While he is still a player to look out for, he’s never mentioned with the elite prospects in the system. In fact, the 24-year-old is not even on the team’s top-30 prospect rankings according to MLB anymore.
Now, the left-handed hitter did hit just .204 last season. He did so with 82 walks though (one off his career-high) and mashed a new personal best 25 home runs. By the way, those 25 home runs were second in the Red Sox minor leagues in 2019 only to the 27 that Bobby Dalbec destroyed.
That’s just one season removed from setting a new mark at 20 too. So clearly, the power is starting to find him. And Boston took notice, as he is currently on their 60-man player pool
Ockimey isn’t just a left-handed power hitting prospect though. He’s a Philadelphia native and a big fan of saying “Good Morning” on Twitter.
Ockimey is also a black man in America.
And he uses his platform (and Instagram) to try and fight against social injustice. It does not take a long scroll on Ockimey’s Instagram page to find a post of him wearing a shirt donning the words “Demand Change” on the front and “BLM” on the back.
Meanwhile, he has an entire Instagram story archive dedicated to BLM and discussing protests, racism social inequality. It’s something he clearly feels strongly about.
While many people will agree with his stance, there will always be those that disagree. And sadly, there will probably be those that do not like him simply for wanting equality.
Ockimey does not feel pressure to talk on the issues though – he feels it is an obligation. He has a platform and can spread awareness “on things that not only affect me, but my community as well”.
The good news is, he is not in this fight alone. The first baseman may be one of the more outspoken players in the Red Sox organization when it comes to racial issues. When I discussed the topic with him, Ockimey said that a lot of the people around him are “on board with what’s going on” though.
"“Some have to be convinced but eventually they realized this isn’t politics,” said Ockimey. “When you see a trend of the people who are supposed to protect us continuously harass and murder unarmed people who look like me without anything being done about it, it’s sickening. We want justice. Hold people accountable for their actions.”"
There is one big hurdle for Ockimey though. Boston has a bit of a reputation. There was the Adam Jones incident a few years ago, and Torii Hunter came out earlier this year saying he had a “no-trade clause” to the Red Sox because of racial slurs thrown at him in Boston. Ockimey is aware of the environment but is not worried. He quickly lauded the Red Sox for how they handled those situations.
At the same time, he’s not worried about being “outspoken” because the things he is speaking out on is police brutality and racism – and he knows the Red Sox have his back on the issues.
To his point, those are definitely two issues that it is really hard for anyone to find fault in fighting against.
He also points out that “it’s scary to think there are people out here who are against this” though.
His final message is simple – or at least it should be.
"“Let’s end Racism and let’s hold policemen accountable for unjust murders and harassment of unarmed black people.”"
Josh Ockimey is one of the better power hitting prospects in the Boston Red Sox system. He’s also extremely close to the Majors and could get called up at any moment.
There are a lot of priorities for Ockimey to juggle right now. But he’s never going to stop fighting in the (sadly never-ending) war for equality and peace for black people in America.