Baseball America named Gavin Cecchini, the Mets’ top pick, the 12th overall pick this year, the number 12th ranked prospect in the Appalachian League for 2012.
Matt Eddy wrote the following about the Mets shortstop prospect:
He possesses the footwork, hands and range to be an average shortstop, but he’ll need to further develop his average though accurate arm to seal the deal. He has average speed and is a plus baserunner.
Cecchini probably won’t develop more than gap power, but if he can stay in the middle infield it won’t matter because he has a chance to hit for average. He can get too aggressive at the plate and he has a lot of moving parts to his swing, but he makes hard line-drive contact when he barrels the ball.
Not a ringing endorsement to say the least. The ranking caused a furor over at Toby Hyde’s Mets Minor League Blog where he wrote:
Cecchini is a gifted defensive shortstop, who, as an 18-year old, hit .246/.311/.330 in 53 games in the Appalachian League which as a whole averaged .254/.329/.382. He showed some strike zone control, with a 2.4 K/BB ratio (43 K/18 BB) and a strikeout rate of 19% and a walk rate of 8%. Oh, and he played August while recovering from a broken finger. He was young for his league.
I liked Cecchini’s swing more than I was expecting too, but he will need to add strength to his wiry frame. Defensively, his hands were fine for short. However, I left concerned about his range. The game I saw, he did not produce an average running time to first. It’s hard to play an average shortstop without average to plus speed. In my opinion, it is nearly impossible to be a plus shortstop without plus speed. In Cecchini’s defense, he was running on a wet track, and I saw him for one game and one BP/infield session only.
The selection of Cecchini has been under wide scrutiny from day one. I say it’s too early to judge the pick, but I do understand the concerns of those who believe we left several higher ceiling and toolsy players with power on the board as well as some gifted pitchers, one of whom fell all the way to us in the second round and went unsigned. I get all of that.
But what’s done is done and as fans all we can do is hope for the best possible outcome at this point.
I’m sure it doesn’t help that players selected after Cecchini ranked much higher and in the top five, but we can’t turn back time, so lets just be positive about the situation and support our team and Gavin Cecchini who is one of our players now.