The Louisville Bats defeated the Gwinnett Stripers on Saturday night with a big assist going to the No. 8 hitter in the lineup. Okey went 4-for-5 recording a single, a double, a triple, and a home run.
This was the seventh time in the history of the Louisville Bats that a player has hit for the cycle and the first since former utility player Brandon Dixon accomplished the feat in 2018. While impressive, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Okey is not ready for the big leagues.
Reds minor league catcher Chris Okey hit for the cycle.
Chris Okey was the Cincinnati Reds second-round pick in 2016, the same year the team selected Nick Senzel with the No. 2 overall pick. Safe to say that both players have been a disappointment to this point in their respective careers.
The former Clemson Tiger was thought to be one of the best all-around catching prospects when Cincinnati selected Okey with the No. 43 pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. While Okey is praised by the pitchers that work with him, and I'm sure he calls a good game, he's yet to produce at the plate.
Heading into last night's game, Okey was hitting .193 with an OPS of .568. After going 4-for-5, Okey raised his batting average to .242 and his OPS jumped 176 points to .744. However, that home run was Okey's first of the season.
The Cincinnati Reds currently have future All-Star catcher Tyler Stephenson behind the plate most nights. When Stephenson is out of the lineup or occupying the DH spot in the batting order, David Bell will call upon Aramís García.
Now, it's not as if García has been setting the world on fire at the plate himself. The former San Francisco Giants prospect is slashing just .167/.194/.233 and has a wRC+ of 14. But for a part-time player like García, it's hard to expect him to gain much traction at the plate.
Adding Chris Okey to the Cincinnati Reds roster would require a corresponding move. At this time, I doubt we'll see the Reds designate García for assignment. But, if Okey can get hot and García continues to struggle at the plate, perhaps we'll see the Reds make a change. That said, Chris Okey has a career-OPS of .615 during his minor league career.