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Sunday, June 01, 2014

Red Sox calling up third-base prospect Garin Cecchini from Triple-A | redsox.com: News

Cecchini comes up for a cup of coffee.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2014 at 08:44 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 01, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4716779)
Cecchini gets on base a lot, and will probably hit for a good average in the bigs, but his defense at third base is pretty shaky, and he hasn't shown much power in professional ball, yet.

To some extent, how you feel about the impending move of Bogaerts to third base as Drew arrives is probably related to how strongly you feel that Cecchini will eventually stick as a first-division 3B for the Red Sox. I am somewhat skeptical about Cecchini as a major league third baseman, and think that Boston may have a better SS prospect in Deven Marrero - thus making the move of Bogaerts, who is a big guy, to 3B more logical.

Cecchini is also starting to be eclipsed in Boston's system by other prospects (Henry Owens and Mookie Betts are the most prominent examples, but Swihart is coming up on the rail, too...).
   2. Publius Publicola Posted: June 01, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4716799)
Cecchini is also starting to be eclipsed in Boston's system by other prospects


Getting eclipsed is only meaningful of the one eclipsing plays the same position as the one being eclipsed. That Owens is pitching well bears no negative consequences on Cecchini's future. And Betts is being auditioned as an outfielder.
   3. Bote Man Posted: June 01, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4716800)
Traffic jam at 3B for the Red Sox, maybe??
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: June 01, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4716828)
It's likely that he is only on the roster for just the one game today.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 01, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4716830)
Getting eclipsed is only meaningful of the one eclipsing plays the same position as the one being eclipsed. That Owens is pitching well bears no negative consequences on Cecchini's future. And Betts is being auditioned as an outfielder.


I understand that - I meant it in an informal, "who are fans, bloggers, local media, etc., talking about?" You're right...none of these guys are moving "ahead of him" on the 3B depth chart. However, the fact that Cecchini's power and defense at 3B is not progressing a ton in AAA is causing him to get eclipsed by other prospects in terms of likelihood of filling various roles sooner than later.

For example, the team is thinking about whether or not Cecchini can play some 1B or LF, but the lack of power development makes being a 1B or corner OF less attractive, even as a bench guy. Alex Hassan has been doing some 1B work, in addition to being an OF for a long time; Mookie Betts has been getting comfortable in the OF, and his offense is so crazy good that you could live with a few mistakes in the OF if he is getting on base 45% of the time with extra base power and 22/25 in SB in the minors; even Travis Shaw is hitting very well at 1B, and has been promoted to AAA with a pretty good glove and a left-handed bat.

So, in terms of Cecchini, other players are indeed moving ahead of him on the depth chart for opportunities that may arise in 2014 and early 2015. There are left-handed bats which may move ahead of him for spot duty; players who can handle the OF or 1B better than Cecchini in a pinch; and his defense isn't yet good enough to cause the team to have a conversation about him at 3B in 2015 (making Marrero at SS a more interesting conversation).
   6. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 02, 2014 at 12:48 AM (#4717139)
I went to bb-ref to see if I should pick him up in my fantasy league and was pleasantly surprised to see he was born in my hometown of about 20,000. I didn't pick him up for this week but wish him well and hope his play warrants that I add him soon.
   7. SteveF Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4717141)
Marrero has never hit well enough to start, even for a slick fielding shortstop. This has been his best year in the minors and he has a 731 OPS and struck out in nearly 1/4 of his plate appearances. I like his chances to make the majors as a utility guy, but that's about it.
   8. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: June 02, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4717246)
I hope he's still in the league if/when younger brother Gavin makes it to the bigs. It will be even more confusing than when Greg A. and Greg W. Harris were playing.
   9. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 02, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4717361)
But less confusing than when Bobby Jones and Bobby Jones were teammates.
   10. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 02, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4717375)
When Red Sox fans talk about Cecchini in most positive tones, the name Wade Boggs comes up: A third baseman who could hit for a high average, lots of walks, maybe-average defense at 3B, no power. Particularly in Boggs' time, this combination of skills was not valued highly - he was left in the minors somewhat longer than his statistics would have suggested, and he was even left off the 40-man roster at one point.

Fast-forwarding to Cecchini, there are some surface-level similarities, but key differences, as well. He has arguably less power than Boggs did in the minors (mainly less doubles-level power). He walks even more often than Boggs...but he also strikes out a ton more than Boggs ever did (to the point where he has often had more Ks than BBs). He is also a lot faster than Boggs (Cecchini stole 51 out of 57 bases in A ball in 2012).

Anyway...so Cecchini gets into the game yesterday when Pedroia gets ejected, and gets two at bats. He strikes out looking in the first AB, then hits an RBI opposite-field double off The Wall in his second AB. That opposite-field double looked just like the way Wade Boggs did it for over a decade.

Left-handed hitters who can flick outside pitches against The Wall can get an awful lot of singles and doubles that way...in a way that is masked while they are in Pawtucket (though not in AA, where there is a big wall in Portland's left field).
   11. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 02, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4717389)
He is also a lot faster than Boggs (Cecchini stole 51 out of 57 bases in A ball in 2012).


I don't know how much of this is going to translate at the big league level. Everything I've read about Cecchini is that he is fairly average speed, he had a serious knee injury before being drafted and seems to be a guy who is using baseball smarts rather than speed to steal bases. He's only stolen 6 this year in 50 games which isn't bad but I think he's a low double digit steal guy at best in the Majors.
   12. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4717394)
Bob Miller and Bob Miller were teammates on the 1962 Mets.
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4717400)
he was left in the minors somewhat longer than his statistics would have suggested,


Nah. He genuinely showed no pop until his final season of Triple A. I think the Red Sox had reasonable concerns that such a glaring weakness would seriously limit his effectiveness at the big league level (of course, they also had a good third baseman at the time, but if they really were sold on Boggs they probably don't pursue Lansford in 81).

   14. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4717410)
Never mind Boggs' only average speed, the thing I remember watching him all those years with the Sox is that he seemed to always play it safe on the bases. He was like the Bizarro Herzog Royal. The threshold for taking the next base wasn't a 50-50 chance; it was something like 95-5.
   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 02, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4717502)
Never mind Boggs' only average speed, the thing I remember watching him all those years with the Sox is that he seemed to always play it safe on the bases. He was like the Bizarro Herzog Royal. The threshold for taking the next base wasn't a 50-50 chance; it was something like 95-5.


No kidding. He was the least aggressive baserunner I've ever seen.* He just had no instincts in that regard.

* To be fair, it probably didn't cost them too much, except for adding to Jim Ed's GIDP numbers. But he was no fun to watch on the bases.

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