It seems to many Red Sox fans and media members that the 2015 season has all but gone up in flames. The team has been abysmal in all aspects of the game, lack consistency, and have been downright awful. But as many feel this season has been a loss, this could also mark the time that we get to see more of the Red Sox prospects get more major league time. Our first look at these prospects starts with Garin Cecchini.
Full Name: Garin Cecchini
Born: April 20, 1991
Birthplace: Sulphur, LA
Height: 6' 3"
Draft: 6th pick in the 4th Round (143rd overall) of the 2010 MLB Draft by Boston Red Sox
School: Barbe High School, Lake Charles, LA
MLB Debut: 06/01/2014
Fun Fact: Garin Cecchini is the older brother of Mets SS prospect, Gavin Cecchini, who was taken in 1st round of the MLB 2012 Draft.
Background Prior to 2015
Although drafted in 2010, Cecchini did not start playing professional baseball until the 2011 season when he made his official debut on June 17 with the Lowell Spinners (the Single-A Short Season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) of the New York-Penn League. He played just 32 games with the Spinners before suffering a left wrist facture on July 23. Cecchini was placed on the disabled list the following day and remained there for the entire season. During his time with the Spinners, Cecchini hit for a .298 batting average (34-for-114) with 3 home runs, 23 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, drew 17 walks, had an OBP (on-base-percentage) of .398, a SLG (slugging percentage) of .500, and an OPS (On-base plus slugging percentage) of .898. In the field, Cecchini played 26 games at third base, recording a .844 fielding percentage (54-for-64 fielding chances) and had 10 errors. Though he only played in 32 games, Cecchini was named to the 2011 NY-Penn League All-Star Team.
Prior to the beginning of the 2012 season, Cecchini was promoted to Single-A level to the Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League. He spent the entire season with the Greenville drive, playing in 118 games. With the significant increase of playing time, Cecchini’s numbers drastically ballooned. He recorded a .305 batting average (139-for-455), 4 home runs, 62 RBIs, 51 stolen bases, drew 61 walks, had an OBP of .394, a SLG of .433, and an OPS of .827. In the field, Cecchini played 99 games at third base, recording a .944 fielding percentage (237-for-251 fielding chances), committed 14 errors, but assisted on 19 double plays. He was voted to the 2012 South Atlantic League All-Star team and was awarded the 2012 Red Sox Minor League Base Runner of the Year.
In the 2013 season, Cecchini named the Boston Red Sox’s 7th overall best prospect by Baseball America. He also was promoted up another level in the Red Sox farm system during the offseason. This time, it was to Single-A Advanced to play for the Salem Red Sox in the Carolina League. He played in 63 games with the Salem Red Sox, recording a career high batting average of .350 (75-for-214), 5 home runs, 33 RBIs, 15 stolen bases, was walked 43 times, and had careers in OBP (.469), SLG (.547), and OPS (1.016). Cecchini also played in 59 games at third base, recording a .906 fielding percentage (116-for-128 fielding chances) with 12 errors and 8 double plays. He was the Carolina League 1st-half leader in batting average, walks OBP, and OPS and was voted to the Carolina League All-Star Team.
Then on June 21 that season, Cecchini was promoted to Double-A to play with the Portland Sea Dogs. Though his stats decreased during his stay in Portland (due to higher level of competition), Cecchini continued to have tremendous impact at the plate. He played in 66 games with the Sea Dogs, hitting a .296 batting average (71-for-240), 2 home runs, 28 RBIs, 8 stolen bases, 51 walks, an OBP of .420, a SLG of .404, and an OPS of .825. In the field, Cecchini continued to play at third base. In 44 games, he recorded a .956 fielding percentage (109-for-114 fielding chances), got 5 errors, and assisted on 10 double plays. Cecchini was also voted to the U.S. Team for the 2013 MLB All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field in New York.
Between Single-A and Double-A, Cecchini’s combined numbers were .322 batting average (146-for-454), 7 home runs, 61 RBIs, 23 stolen basses, was walked 94 times, had an OBP of .443, a slugging percentage of .471, and an OPS of .915. He also played in a combined 103 games at third base, recording a .930 fielding percentage (225-for-242 fielding chances) with 17 errors and assisted on 18 double plays. Cecchini’s combined .443 OBP between the two levels topped all minor league players that season.
After the 2013 minor league season ended, Cecchini ended up playing with the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League along with Red Sox minor leaguers like Mookie Betts and Travis Shaw. He played in 18 games with the Saguaros, recording a .277 batting average (18-for-65), with no home runs, 9 RBIs, 3 stolen bases, was walked 17 times, had an OBP of .434, a SLG of .338, and an OPS of .772. Cecchini also played 16 games at third base, recording a .923 fielding percentage (36-for-39 fielding chances) with 3 errors and assisted on 3 double plays. Later on that year, Cecchini was awarded the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award and was named to the Red Sox 40-man roster.
Before the 2014 season, Cecchini was named the 6th overall prospect in the Red Sox farm system. He was also promoted to Triple-A to the Pawtucket Red Sox prior to the start of the 2014 season. In 114 games with the PawSox, Cecchini hit for a .263 batting average (107-for-407) with a career high 7 home runs, 57 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, walked 44 times, had an OBP of .341, a SLG of .371, and an OPS of .712. Cecchini also had the longest on-base streak of the entire International League, reaching on base in 29 games.
In the field, Cecchini played 84 games at third base. He recorded a .923 fielding percentage (189-for-207 fielding chances) with 16 errors and assisted with 10 double plays. The 2014 season also marked the first time that Cecchini played another position other than third base. For 26 games, Cecchini played in left field. He recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage (47-for-47 fielding chances) during his time in left.
Cecchini also played a significant role in the PawSox run for the 2014 Governors’ Cup run and in the Triple-A Championship Game. In 9 games in the playoffs, Cecchini hit for .306 (11-for-36) with 5 RBI, 2 walks, had an OBP of .350, SLG of .417, and OPS of .767. He also started all 9 games at third base
During the 2014 season, Cecchini had two stints up in Boston. The first stint was on June 1 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Cecchini came into the game during the 4th inning as a substitute and played. He ended up going 1-for-2 with 1 RBI and 1 K and was sent back down to Pawtucket the following day. Cecchini’s second stint in the majors came after the PawSox lost the Triple-A Championship Game against the Omaha Stormchasers. He was called up on September 17 and stayed with the team till the end of the 2014 MLB season.
Between his two MLB stints, Cecchini played in 11 games. He batted for a .258 average (8-for-31) with 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 3 walks, had an OBP of .361, a SLG of .452, and an OPS of .813. Cecchini also played 9 games at third base, recording a .952 fielding percentage (20-for-21 fielding chances) with 1 error and assisted on 2 double plays.
Prior to the beginning of the 2015, Cecchini was ranked as the 7th overall prospect in the Red Sox farm system according to MLB.com and the 10th overall prospect in the Red Sox farm system according to Baseball America.
In 54 games with the PawSox this season, Cecchini has been batting a .201 average (40-for-199) with 5 home runs, 10 RBIs, 5 stolen bases, and was walked 18 times. Currently, Cecchini has a .277 OBP, a .312 SLG, and an OPS of .589. In the field, Cecchini played 13 games at third base, recording a .921 (35-for-38 fielding chances) with 3 errors and assisted on 3 double plays. He also played 28 games in left field, recording a .977 fielding percentage (43-for-44 fielding chances) with one error. In addition to left field and third base, Cecchini has been playing at first base as well, the first time in his career. In 12 games this season, Cecchini has a .988 fielding percentage (80-for 81 fielding chances) with 1 error and assisted on 10 double plays.
What Cecchini brings to the table is something that the Red Sox could use: a left-handed hitter who can player two positions that are giving the team fits this season (third base and left field). Not to mention that Cecchini has great instincts and running ability on the bases, thus putting him to more scoring position chances when he gets on base.
Though some might hesitant on hoping on the Cecchini wagon (low production at the plate this year, lacks quickness in the field with erratic throwing accuracy), let’s face the fact that left field and third base are now a glaring hole for the Red Sox. The season has not reached the half way point and Sandoval (the current third baseman) has 10 errors, including 5 errors in 15 games during the month of June. Not to mention that the lackadaisical play of Hanley Ramirez (not getting good reads, taking the right routes to the ball, not hustling) in left field could make even the hardiest of Red Sox fans cringe.
It’s only a matter of time before Cecchini gets the call up into Boston. Hopefully the Boston Brain Trust doesn't try anything funny until then with the team or with Cecchini until then.
Support WBOB Sports