26-Year-Old Third Baseman – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
After Cecchini collapsed in Triple-A in 2015, the Brewers brought him in as one of their many post-hype sleeper lottery tickets. Unfortunately, his performance in Milwaukee's organization was similarl...
Garin Cecchini Contract Information:
Signed a one-year contract with the Brewers in January 2016.
Cecchini received a spring training invitation from the Royals on Saturday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
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Garin Cecchini: MLB Games Played By Position
Garin Cecchini Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Garin Cecchini Defensive Stats
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Garin Cecchini: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Like most teams, the Red Sox love their prospects but sometimes hold onto them beyond their high-value point. That proved to be the case with Cecchini, who bottomed out at Triple-A Pawtucket last season and only netted cash considerations in a December trade with Milwaukee. In more than 900 plate appearances in Triple-A, there's nothing resembling the promise he showed at the lower levels. He's still got good pitch recognition but may be pressing as his two-year slide continues unabated — strikeout rate is up and walk rate is down. Then there's the problem of finding a position for him. His problems with footwork and lateral quickness at third base prompted the Red Sox to have him play first base and left field in 2015. Despite the negatives creeping into this game, it's premature to write him off. Cecchini has the baseball gene and makeup to work at the craft. He finds himself on one of the worst big league rosters in baseball, and should get a fair trial in Milwaukee at a corner infield spot.
The Red Sox got little production out of third base last season and had a need for some left-handed balance in the batting order. Unfortunately for Cecchini, Pablo Sandoval signed with the Red Sox in November, putting his future in the organization in doubt. Despite some mid-season struggles at Triple-A Pawtucket -- pitchers figured out how to pitch to him -- Cecchini made his own adjustments and hit a respectable .285/.367/.462 in the second half and got some at-bats for Boston late in September. He responded to the first adversity he's faced as a hitter. The real question, however, remains how well can he defend at third base. Mechanically, there's still some work to do. If he remains with the Red Sox, Cecchini is ticketed to return to Pawtucket to continue working on his defense, but it seems much more likely that he'll get traded as the organization seeks upgrades for the rotation.
Cecchini's sound plate approach continued to show in 2013. He blistered the Carolina League, slashing .350/.469/.547 for High-A Salem before a mid-season promotion to Double-A Portland. He slowed down at Portland, but still managed to post respectable numbers. The power isn't there for him yet, as he had just seven homers in 454 at-bats last season, but he has excellent pitch recognition and manages the strike zone well. Defensively, he can handle the hot corner, but he may not emerge with the kind of slugging ability normally associated with a corner infield spot. Still, his advanced hitting and on-base skills project him as an everyday big leaguer. Third base at the major league level underwent some churn in 2013 with Will Middlebrooks stagnating and the late-season emergence of top prospect Xander Bogaerts, who added the hot corner to his resume. Cecchini will probably start 2014 at Double-A and move to Triple-A, with a shot at seeing some time in Boston.
After battling injuries in his first full professional season, Cecchini took a big step forward in his 2012 season at Low-A Greenville. Currently playing the hot corner, he showed off his strong arm in the field while hitting .305 with 38 doubles and 62 RBI at the plate. He also added 51 stolen bases in 57 attempts, showing good speed that runs in the family (his younger brother, Gavin, was a 2012 first-round pick by the Mets). He also showed strong discipline at the plate by taking 61 walks. The Red Sox's organizational depth chart is crowded with Will Middlebrooks locked in at third base ahead of him. Cecchini has not shown the power most teams look for in the corner infield (four home runs in 2012), so it will be interesting to see if a position change is in his future. Look for him to begin his age-22 season at High-A.
Cecchini just started to get the hang of things at Short-Season Lowell in 2011 when a wrist injury cut short his season in July. This came after he missed all of 2010 with a torn ACL. The developmental delay has hampered his transition from shortstop to third base, but the 20-year-old already has nice swing mechanics with an ability to hit to all fields and power potential. The wrist injury healed and he participated in the Fall Instructional League with an eye toward Low-A Greenville in 2012.
Cecchini was thought of as a first-rounder before he suffered an ACL injury in his senior year at Barbe High School (La.) and was available for Boston in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. He's got good size, and power potential, and may evolve into a third baseman down the road. It all looks good right now -- the swing, the athleticism, the footwork, the IQ -- we just need to see how it starts to come together in 2011. He hasn't played much baseball in the past year because of the injury, so expect Cecchini to start in extended spring training with a promotion to Short-Season Lowell in June.