SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Josh Ockimey reached Triple-A for the first time in his professional career during the 2018 Minor League season. Since then, the Red Sox's No. 10 prospect has continued to face tough competition during the Arizona Fall League.
While Ockimey may not be among the AFL's offensive stat leaders, he feels he is improving. That showed on Saturday night, when Ockimey belted a two-run double and reached base three times in Mesa's 7-2 win over Salt River at Salt River Fields.
"There's no easy breaks when you see these pitchers on the mound -- everybody's good," Ockimey said following the AFL Military Appreciation Game. "Just seeing better quality stuff and more executed pitches is only going to make you better."
Ockimey went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and a run scored. He gave the Solar Sox an early cushion with his two-run double to right field in the third inning, which pushed Mesa's lead to 3-0.
With runners on second and third, Ockimey connected on a 1-1 breaking ball from Rockies farmhand Mitch Horacek, lifting it to deep right, where it bounced off the base of the wall. It was Ockimey's second double of the Fall League and only his third extra-base hit.
"I got a pitch I was looking for that I could do damage with," Ockimey said. "I got it, I stuck with a plan and it worked out."
Ockimey raised his AFL average to .208. But much like during the Minor League season, he has shown patience at the plate, drawing eight walks and posting a .345 on-base percentage through 15 Fall League games.
Over 117 games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, Ockimey batted .245/.356/.455 with 21 doubles, 20 home runs and 71 RBIs. In 27 games with Pawtucket, he hit .215/.305/.398 with five homers and 15 RBIs.
Ockimey's Red Sox teammate, right-hander Mike Shawaryn (Boston's No. 9 prospect), started for the Solar Sox and tossed two hitless innings. His only blemish was a two-out walk in the first.
Shawaryn lowered his AFL ERA to 2.53 with his first scoreless outing since Oct. 22. The righty had allowed one run in each of his previous three starts.
Top Cubs prospects Nico Hoerner (No. 6) and Trent Giambrone (No. 29) combined to jump-start Mesa's offense in the first inning. Hoerner laced a one-out triple down the left-field line, then scored the game's first run on Giambrone's groundout.
Giambrone also started Mesa's three-run rally in the fifth. The third baseman ripped a leadoff single to left with an exit velocity of 114.7 mph, per Statcast™, the hardest-hit ball of the game. Giambrone later scored on a double by A's prospect Skye Bolt (Oakland's No. 30).
Tigers farmhand Daniel Woodrow added an RBI single and Bolt scored on a balk to cap the rally, which gave Mesa a 7-0 lead.
"Like I always believe, good hitting is contagious," Ockimey said. "So when you see a couple guys start putting barrels on balls, like I said, it's contagious. It makes everybody else feel better."