BLUF: Natural hitter with potential to hit for average and power as an All-Star level player.
The Player: Garin Cecchini (3B, Boston Red Sox) – Fell in the 2010 draft because of a knee injury but was ultimately picked by the Red Sox in the fourth round, signing for $1.3 million at the August deadline. Made his pro debut in 2011 in the NYPL, hitting .298/.398/.500 before a broken wrist shortened his season. Advanced to Low-A Greenville in 2012 and hit .305/.394/.433 in 118 games with 38 doubles and 51 stolen bases.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (NYPL 2011, SAL 2012), Industry Contacts
Body (6-2, 200): Good frame. Present strength with room for more. Looks the part in the uniform. Broad shoulders. Good athlete. Plus body overall.
Hit: Best tool. Excellent hitter. Very quiet in the box. Short stride. Quiet hands during pre-swing load. Hands are very quick, explode to the zone and rip the bat through the hitting zone. Excellent bat control. Can barrel all types of pitches throughout the strike zone. Will reach out of zone at times, particularly chasing breaking balls. Plus plate coverage. Uses the whole field well. Has improved approach as a pro. Intelligent hitter that comes with a plan. Classic hitter. Potential to reach .300 during best seasons. Grade – 40/70
Power: Has strength and frame to suggest power is in the offing. Plus-plus bat speed with good leverage and loft. Needs to unlock power in game situations. Too content to go the other way at times. Can turn on a ball and drive it. Has average power potential and should unlock it as approach continues to evolve and entire game matures. Tons of doubles and 15-20 home runs in his future. Grade (raw power) – 40/50
Arm: Has the arm for the position. Can be plus but plays down at times because of inconsistent footwork. With feet set, has plenty of velocity and accuracy. Should play plus with maturity. Grade – 50/60
Fielding: Needs development. Footwork is sloppy. Gets caught in between and is still learning reads off the bat. Has athleticism and reaction time to handle the position. Soft hands and ability to make plays to both sides. Needs to focus on improving defensive fundamentals. Average defender if it all comes together. I think he’ll get there. Has athleticism for an OF corner if necessary. Grade – 30/50
Speed: Speed has improved since knee injury in high school. Consistently average runner with some solid-average home to first times when he gets after it. Exceptional base running instincts lead to lots of stolen bases, more than his speed suggests. Could steal 15-20 bases at the big league level because of reads alone. Grade – 50/50
Summation: Love the bat. Pure, natural hitter. Excellent contact ability. Will hit for average at every level. Potential to hit .300. Has easy doubles power now and could post 30+ doubles in MLB. Home-run power should develop and he could have 15-20 HR ceiling. Will take a little time to develop as body matures and approach becomes more refined. Defense will be ultimate factor. Has tools to play 3B at an average level but must develop fundamentals and consistency. Arm plays at the position. Exceptionally intelligent player. Plays the game the right way. High IQ on the field that helps tools play up, including average speed. Significant injury history that includes rotator cuff surgery, ACL surgery and a broken wrist. Potential All-Star level 3B that’s carried by a middle-of-the-order bat.
Relative Risk: Moderate. Has a ways to go but I have lots of confidence in the bat and game intelligence.
Future: Should head to High-A to start the 2013 season and I wouldn’t rule out a trip to Double-A during his age 22 season. Where he will play may be in question with Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks ahead of him, but he could be ready for a big-league trial in late 2014.