Brian O’Keefe, who is not listed in the Mariners top 30 prospects, provided some fireworks of his own for the Tacoma Rainiers to start the fourth of July weekend.
The 28-year-old catcher was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 7th round of the 2014 MLB draft. Not reaching the Triple-A level until coming to the Mariners in 2021.
Over the course of his career, the backstop has slashed .262/.347/.462 with 106 Home Runs and 443 RBIs. And this year with Tacoma the eight-year minor league veteran is hitting .304 with double-digit doubles and home runs through 39 games. Though he is not a switch hitter like Cal Raleigh or Andrew Knapp, O’Keefe does a good job handling the pitching staff and provides a consistent bat.
On 7/2/22, the backstop finished the game with four hits, five RBIs and 13 total bases, in addition to the long ball trifecta. Those five runs driven in provided the entirety of the Rainiers’ offense as they beat the Salt Lake Bees, 5-4.
It was the first time that a Rainiers player has hit three home runs in a game since 2015, and with Jared Kelenic at second as the automatic runner (advancing to third on a wild pitch) in the 10th inning, all O’Keefe had to do was line a ball into center field to walk off. Completing a trifecta of walk-offs for the Mariners Triple-A affiliate in four days.
Where does he fit?
With Tom Murphy out for the season, and Luis Torrens currently on the IL. The Mariners could benefit from adding O’Keefe to the MLB squad, which would give him his first chance at the MLB level.