While Garin Cecchini’s younger brother Gavin, a likely first-round pick next month, has been getting more of the limelight lately, the elder Cecchini sibling has been rolling for low Class A Greenville in the Red Sox’s system. Cecchini went 2-for-5 and hit a walkoff two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth for the Drive on Wednesday, capping off a 5-4 win against Asheville.
Cecchini has rebounded from a slow start, which was really just a bad first week, to be one of the South Atlantic League’s most productive hitters over the last month. The 21-year-old started the year 3-for-27 (.111) before a 3-for-5 outing on April 13, and he’s hit .349/.408/.495 in 109 at-bats since, posting the fifth highest average in the SAL over that span. The missing ingredient has been power, as he has only one homer and is slugging a modest .434 on the season, but there’s reason to hope he’ll hit more long balls in time as he gets stronger and learns to turn on balls more consistently.
His power hasn’t arrived yet, but Cecchini’s hit tool is advanced for his age. He’s been consistently productive when healthy, hitting .298/.398/.500 against older competition in the short-season New York-Penn League last year and .301/.367/.434 so far this year. Injuries have been an issue, as a torn ACL cost him his senior year of high school and contributed to his not being drafted until the fourth round, and a broken right wrist truncated his 2011 season. He hasn’t shown any ill effects though, going 14-for-16 stealing bases despite lacking above-average speed and cleaning up his defense at third base. He made 10 errors in 26 games there last year, having moved over from playing shortstop in high school, but he’s committed just four in 28 games at the hot corner this year.