2012 MLB Draft Profile: Gavin Cecchini, SS, Barbe HS (LA)

Summary

Major League organizations like Major League bloodlines, and the Cecchini family are making a name for themselves. Garin Cecchini was drafted in the 4th round in 2010 and is currently one of the better hitting prospects in the Boston Red Sox minor leagues. Gavin isn't the hitter that his older brother is, but he's more athletic. Gavin has the chance to make it as a short-stop while his brother has already moved to 3B.

For a short-stop the only thing that matters is if he can stick. I think he can but he won't be the second coming of Adam Everett. His range is average to above-average and his arm is the same way. He has good instincts, soft hands, and great hand-eye coordination. That sets him up to be an average to above-average short-stop, but not a great one. His range and arm are reasons that some scouts think he'll be better served at 2B or even 3B. Although, 3B would be a worst case scenario since his arm is just average or a little better.

At the plate, his hand-eye coordination allow him to make frequent contact. It allows him to not strikeout often and foul off pitches he can't do much with. He's also a pretty patient hitter. He's quick with his compact swing that has a little loft, but doesn't lend itself to much home run pop. He starts with a wide base and steps into an even larger base. It limits his lower body involvement and makes his swing a little too reliant on shoulders and arms. Depending just how much he fills out will determine his true power in the future, but it's much more likely that he'll be a gap hitter with a few balls that he'll turn on. That brings to the next point, he has a little speed. Speed will allow for him to be a gap hitter with doubles instead of a singles hitter to the gaps.

Floor

His floor is actually pretty safe for a HS guy as he's pretty polished given his age. Besides being a career minor leaguer, his floor is that of a utility guy capable of playing 2B, SS, and 3B. He'll make good contact and put the ball in play, so he'll make a good pinch hitter as well. He could be pretty valuable on the bench, especially with spraying doubles to the gaps as a pinch hitter.

Ceiling

This depends on where plays defensively. If he sticks at SS and hits a high average with lots of doubles, you take that. He won't be a gold glove SS and he won't be Tulo with the bat. I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of Elvis Andrus with little less stolen bases, somewhere around 25-30.

Projected Draft round

He'll likely be selected between 10-20 overall. He's not good enough to be considered 1-1, but guys who can hit for average and plenty of doubles while potentially sticking at SS, don't last til the supplemental round.

College Commitment: Mississippi

Will he sign?

I think he will. He's getting drafted on tools and potential to stick at SS. He's going to get drafted highly to boot. I think he has too much to lose by going to school where he could show he can't play SS.

Bibliography after the jump

Perfect Game

Gavin Cecchini is a 2012 MIF with a 6-1 180 lb. frame from Lake Charles, LA who attends Barbe HS. Slender athletic frame, lots of room to add strength. Very polished hitter with present bat speed, patient hitter, recognizes pitches, balanced hitting stance, short and compact to the ball, line drive swing plane, has the strength to drive the gaps now with more to come, consistent hard contact. 6.60 runner smooth defensive actions with range, soft hands, enough arm for shortstop, could play anywhere on the infield. Will keep improving over time, still projects. Good student, verbal commitment to Mississippi.

Pirates Prospects

Gavin’s older brother, Garin, is a third baseman in the Boston Red Sox system, drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Garin profiles as one of the best hitters in the Boston farm system, ranking as a top ten prospect after his first full professional season. Gavin is also making a name for himself, being considered as a consensus first round talent.

The younger Cecchini has a quick swing and makes hard contact. He hits to all fields and has gap power now, but he could add some home run power down the line. The big question with any high school shortstop is whether they can remain at the position. Gavin has a good shot at sticking at the position, with good range, good hands, and a strong arm. He has the speed to be a threat on the bases, and that speed also helps him defensively.

Shortstop is the hardest position to fill for any team, and finding a good all around player is the ultimate goal. Cecchini rates as one of the best all around shortstops in the 2012 draft class, and has a good chance of sticking at the position. He ranks in the 10-20 range, but wouldn’t be a bad top ten pick, depending on who is still on the board, as he’s a rare guy out of high school who has a strong chance of sticking at shortstop.

Minor League Ball

Cecchini is 6', 175 LBS and is the younger brother of Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini but are very different players. Defensively, Gavin will be a shortstop but may have to move to 3B if he fills out and slows down, or even 2B if that occurs. He has a solid average arm, very good actions and average range.

Star-divide

Gavin is a great hitter with a quick swing and a contact approach. The swing is more of a line drive swing than a power swing but he will hit a few out as he gains strength. He will hit his share of extra base hits to the gaps though. He utilizes his speed very well and could be a 25-30 steal guy early on.

Gavin could be an average defensive shortstop with an above average bat. His bat would have to play up if he moves off the position though. He looks to be a mid-1st round pick. If he doesn't sign he is slated to head to Ole Miss.

MLB.com

Bloodlines are always a good thing, so the fact that Cecchini's brother, Garin, was a 2010 draftee and now in the Red Sox organization doesn't hurt. The younger Cecchini, however, is more than making a name for himself.

Cecchini has a quick stroke with good extension, enabling him to make consistent hard contact. He's got mostly gap power now and his speed plus instincts allow him to be a basestealing threat and take the extra base. Those instincts also help him defensively.

While his hands are good and he grades out as average with his arm and range, some think a move to second might be better. Either way, this scrappy middle infielder is sure to get plenty of looks in the spring.

ESPN

Cecchini, the younger brother of Red Sox farmhand, Garin, has a better chance to stay at shortstop than his brother did while sharing the same solid makeup and strong feel for the game.

Gavin Cecchini starts with a very wide base at the plate and gets wider as he strides -- far wider than he did last summer -- leaving himself somewhat off balance through contact, although closing his initial stance could mitigate this. His siwng is somewhat rotational with slight loft but not the kind that will produce big power; it's not great bat speed but his hand-eye appears to be very strong, and getting him more balanced at the plate should improve his contact rates and doubles power with wood. In the field, Cecchini has a plus arm with a very quick release, soft hands, and the agility to be anabove-average defender at short in pro ball.

There's a utility-player floor here that makes him somewhat safer than most high-school picks, but I'd be surprised if that's all he turns out to be.

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