Okey hits the trifecta for Lookouts

Reds No. 30 prospect drives in career-high seven runs

Chris Okey's previous career high in RBIs was six, achieved on May 20, 2017 for Daytona Beach. (Danny Parker/MiLB.com)

By Shlomo Sprung / MiLB.com | May 22, 2019 11:55 PM

Chris Okey needed just six innings to eclipse his season total in home runs and RBIs.

Cincinnati's 30th-ranked prospect went yard in his first three at-bats for a career-high seven RBIs in Double-A Chattanooga's 8-6 win over Birmingham on Wednesday night. It was Okey's first career multi-homer game and his first three-hit outing since Aug. 25, 2018 for Double-A Pensacola. 

Gameday box score

"I did not expect this coming to the ballpark today, but I couldn't be happier leaving with the result," Okey said. "It's just one of those things where luckily enough my timing was perfect and it just happened that three balls went over the fence."

The 24-year-old catcher said nothing changed about his pregame routine, just the results.

"I just took it as another game and it was a really cool night," he said.

Okey was responsible for all the offense surrendered by Barons starter Bernardo Flores, the 29th-ranked White Sox prospect. He went deep to left field off Flores in the second and fifth, both two-run taters on 1-0 counts. In the sixth, he launched an 0-1 pitch from White Sox No. 16 prospect Zack Burdi to left-center for a three-run jack.

"I couldn't be more excited about what happened," Cincinnati's second-round pick in the 2016 Draft said. "It was just one of those nights where everything just worked for you."

Okey said his teammates were chirping at him and having fun during his career night, the Lookouts' first three-homer game since Scott Schebler achieved the feat on Aug. 13, 2014.

"After my third one, they started doing the bowing stuff," he said. "It was just fun to be a part of and definitely a night I'll always remember."

In his fourth at-bat in the eighth, Okey struck out against righty Luis Martinez.

2019 Minor League milestones

The Clemson product compiled a .194/.250/.269 slash line with no home runs and six RBIs in 19 games split between Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville coming into the game. With Wednesday's performance, Okey -- who had 16 homers in 249 pro games before the milestone -- raised his average to .316.

The right-handed hitter said he's been trying to think less and become more aggressive at the plate, an approach he started to implement during Spring Training. Although he started off with Triple-A Louisville, he's made a smoother transition to Chattanooga, batting .316/.395/.658 since he joined the Lookouts on April 22.

"I just wanted to become myself again and figure out a routine I could take game to game and something I could repeat," Okey said. "I'm still working towards that. I'm still not there yet. We're making a lot better strides than we had in the past."

Luis Alexander Basabe, Chicago's No. 7 prospect, went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored for Birmingham.

Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports View More