Posted by Ernest Dove at 10:30 AM
Since Mets fans always enjoy talking about shortstops, lets take a minute to talk about one not named Tulo, Wilmer, Desmond or Tejada, shall we?
Here stands the just recently turned 21 year old former 2012 first round pick, Gavin Cecchini. Perhaps we will start the season in AA ball, which can often be said to be the make it or break it type of level for many promising prospects. At this point, there are many who are already calling the young man a bust. There are many who can accurately point out budding stars and/or solid major leaguers who were drafted after Gavin was taken #12 overall. But playing Monday morning quarterback is always easy, so....... What do the Mets really have here?
It's reported that Gavin was invited to big league camp for this coming spring. As in the past, including just last year when Brandon Nimmo got a couple of at bats, batting practice and some major league level coaching during springtime, it now appears to be young Cecchini's turn, among others, to get some of the same.
However way you slice it, it still seems to be a bit of a big deal to me that the organization is even inviting the young man. Especially with all the hoopla over the position he plays. Again, God knows how many at bats, if any, he will get during the short time he'll be on the big leaguer side of the field, but I still think its an important looksy for the Mets and their front office.
Since becoming a professional, Cecchini has zero eye popping offensive stats to show for himself . He's a career .251 hitter in the minors. He's got a career .322 OBP and he has not hit more than 8 homers in a season. Yet, he continues to move up each level in the system, year after year, and continues to find himself on league all star teams, and a place on the Mets top 20 prospect lists year after year since being drafted.
Yes, I can already hear the loud arguments about the bias that is always given towards first rounds picks, and how they can moved, and moved, and promoted up the big leagues without ever really showing the projected talent, but I have to believe that something is intriguing about the guy. I know of a couple of random scouting people not being excited about Cecchini in the field at short, so he apparently also is no Tovar with a glove, yet he appears to remain above Tovar, on the totem poll of young shortstops within the organization.
Add that to the fact that the organization has seemingly had a field day drafting and signing teenage shortstops year after year, since they obtained Cecchini, with some appearing to already be getting more hype and a higher ceiling. But I'm still wondering what can, will or might happen for Gavin during the 2015 season, and right from the get go while at big league camp for the Mets this coming spring.
I'm seriously resisting the idea of mentioning the teenagers here (can dream about Rosario being the next Hanley Ramirez all is want) as best I can, so lets stick to the post teens. Mack's Mets favorite Matt Reynolds and his ridiculous video game offensive numbers I hitter friendly PCL last year equate to yet another repeat opportunity for him, with probably not much chance of making the team out of spring. My recently written about Wilfredo Tovar, and his golden glove, should also be at camp with the big boys, but nobody in the front office seems to care much about his chances, so I guess he gets another season of bouncing around AA and AAA ball and maybe either being a backup or find himself at second base in the minors often to play out the year.
So, after that, it appears that Cecchini is seemingly the next man up in regards to highest SS level player within the organization. And since I've already stated the numerous teeny boppers the team already has here, it wouldn't make much sense to find a way for Gavin to dip back below AA ball no matter his young age.
I'm looking forward, not so much at any actual stats he puts up during camp, but of any updated scouting, monitoring, observing, critiquing and analyzing of the young man who I assume had a purpose on this team on draft day. I'm tired of the 'so and so may not be suited defensively for the position' type stuff that all too many shortstops get pegged with these days (hi Wilmer). So let's go ahead and safely proclaim young Gavin as a shortstop, and shortstop only.
Last year, between 3 different levels (ok, really brief stay in AA), he totaled 126 games, so hopefully the whole adjusting to professional baseball grind Yada Yada yada is out of the way here. The organization continues to rank him highly on their prospect lists, no matter the stats put up, and he now has his ticket with the big dogs come April. So its time for the Mets to learn everything else they can about the man. Maybe he's a bust. Maybe he's a better version of that Drew guy Mets fans may have heard of. Either way, I'll be on the lookout to get my daily fix on the Mack's Mets website to get any kind of reported rumors about what's going on here with the shortstop nobody is currently talking about, other then to bash him and proclaim a 21 year A ball progressing prospect a bust.