Game Report: Red Sox Prospect Garin Cecchini
There are many things to like about Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini. Garin, older brother of Mets prospect Gavin, is the son of a baseball coach, which is pretty evident watching him perform at the plate and on the bases. Like any prospect, there are things about him that I need more of a look at like his defensive ability at third and his batting approach against lefties. However, I feel I observed enough to provide the following scouting report.
Hitting: Cecchini is one of the most mature hitters I’ve seen come through the Sally in many years. When I see prospects drafted out of high school come through, usually the moving parts of their swing tend to be a bit rough. The most highly rated prospects always have the good to plus bat speed and Cecchini is not exception to that rule. He just shows more polish than most. His hip rotation is in perfect symmetry with the upper half of his body during his swing. His swing is as pretty as they come and will generate its fair share of line drives. He showcases good plate discipline that has helped him to a .368 on base percentage so far this season.
However, he has shown a propensity for getting ahead of himself and out on his front foot on off-speed stuff, specifically facing left handed pitchers. I think that is the main reason for his struggles against lefties and my one major concern with his bat going forward. Is it a question of not recognizing the breaking pitch or is he simply a guess hitter and is guessing wrong? I do not usually see this disparity in splits with highly thought-of prospects in the Sally, so it makes me wonder if heâs just not seeing the ball well from left handed pitchers.
Running: Short and sweet, he’s a good base runner with average to above average foot speed. His ability to cut bases and shorten his stride allows him to play a bit above his natural running ability. He also possesses base running instincts that few possess. I think this is has helped him steal a good share of bases. There are many guys that weren’t barn burners that enjoyed some success stealing bases because they possessed plus instincts. Guys like David Wright and Jeff Bagwell come to mind as superstar examples plus base running instincts.
Defense: Cecchini has a strong arm, able to make any throw a third baseman may need to make. The few in game throws he made, he hit the target at first. He really doesn’t seem comfortable at third though. With repetition, Iâ’m sure this improves. He’s on his toes, just stiff. His reactions at third were average but his range was exceptional, which is expected from a converted short stop. He made an error, although it was called a hit, on a ball hit to his left side. Stiffness had a bit to do with this and I would have liked to see an effort to get in front of the baseball. Previously, Cecchini rolled his ankle on an infield single over the third base bag, a ball most third baseman don’t get to playing as far off the bag as he was playing. Cecchini made the throw, which was unnecessary, and rolled his ankle as he was stopping his momentum (see video for play). I’m willing to give him a break on the botched error/ruled hit. However, the stiffness was present even before the slight injury occurred.
Garin Cecchini, overall, is a good looking prospect. Two areas of his game that are lacking, his fluidness at third base and his inability to hit left handed pitching, can only improve through repetition. His ceiling as of right now is a solid major league third baseman. Although I don’t see it physically, I think his stat line at ceiling will look a lot like Bill Mueller, just with a bit more slugging and more stolen bases. I just donât see perennial All Star tools. His floor is as a utility player. Heâs that polished in parts of his game now that I feel confident saying this kid is, at worst, a major league utility player. Iâ’ve never said that about a sally league player before.