MAJORING ON THE MINORS: TOP 30 PROSPECTS – # 12 GAVIN CECCHINI - VOL.19 – Tom BrennanI’m doing my Top 30 Prospects articles a bit differently – in 2 lists:
· A top 10 list of lower minors guys who likely won’t show up until 2017 or later. See list at end of this article.
· Followed by my top 20 list of guys who are closing in on the big leagues. Guys who could help in the near future or be trade bait.
Here is the list so far:
20. Daniel Muno
19. Michael Fulmer
18. Miller Diaz
17. Dario Alvarez
16. Jayce Boyd
15. Rob Whalen
14. Hansel Robles
13. Gabriel Ynoa
Today, selection #12:
GAVIN CECCHINI (pictured above with Kevin Plawecki)
I listed Mr. Cecchini at #12. Everyone writes so much about him, usually in a “not good enough” way, you’d think he was Wilmer Flores or something.
So far, he is the high first round pick in 2012 who has reportedly fallen short of expectations. Supposedly can’t field…lacks power…mediocre hitter. Stop for a second, if that’s how you think, walk over to the medicine cabinet, and take a chill pill. Wait, take 2. Feeling better?
Let’s recap…he will spend all of next year as a 21 year old. He mistakenly was put in rookie ball in 2013, and because he got hurt during the short rookie season, only got up 212 times when he should have gotten up 500 times for his development.
In 2014, he had his first full year in mid-and high-A ball. 534 plate appearances, .247/.328/.378. Not so great, not so bad for full year #1.
Do that production again in 2015, and I will jump on the naysayer bandwagon.
But what went well in 2014 for GC, as he played his 1st full year as a 20 year old?
· How about 40 extra base hits in 534 appearances, vs. only 8 in 212 appearances in Brooklyn in 2013?
· How about 8 HRs last year, vs. ZERO in 2013? Growing up and adding some beef can do wonders.
· How about 10 of 14 steals, and a solid strikeout rate of only slightly more than once every 6.5 times up?
· And a solid 10.6 walks every 100 at bats vs. just 6.6 per 100 the year before?
In some respects, it represented a quantum leap in 2014. Maybe the just-turned-21 Cecchini has another quantum leap coming in 2015 in AA.
2014 fielding was shaky at shortstop with 27 errors and a weak .942 fielding %, but part of that could have been hot-sun, full season fatigue; in short, cooler seasons in 2012 and 2013, he clocked in at a very decent .965. Usually young guys get better. He will.
So overall, I ranked him at 12th in my “close to major league ready” group of minor leaguers. I’ll bet he does surge the next 2 years to be at a “competent major league rookie starting player” level by late 2016 or opening day 2017. Whether there will be room for him or not to be that starting player, or even a utility player, who knows? Father Time will answer all questions in due time.
Whaddya think, folks?
MY TOP 10 LOWER MINORS LIST:
# 1 - Marcos Molina
#2 – Michael Conforto
#3 – Amed Rosario
#4 – Dominic Smith
#5 - Jhoan Urena
#6 – Vicente Lupo
#7 – Wuilmer Becerra
#8 – Luis Guillorme
#9 - Casey Meisner
#10 - Milton Ramos