SoxProspects News

January 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Injuries healed, Cecchini looking to get on track in 2012


Garin Cecchini
(Kelly O'Connor)
BOSTON, MASS. -- A year and a half after the Red Sox gave him a $1.31-million bonus to sign as a fourth-round draft pick, injuries have held Garin Cecchini to just 133 plate appearances as a professional. A torn ACL was largely responsible for the Louisiana native’s drop from his pre-season first-round projection and kept him from making his pro debut until 2011, when he reported to short-season-A Lowell. After just 32 games for the Spinners, a wrist fracture ended Cecchini’s 2011 season. For fans eager to follow the high-ceiling high school pick out of Louisiana, the past two seasons have been an exercise in patience.

To make things worse, Cecchini's wrist injury came at a horribly inopportune time. He went just 5 for 32 from June 16 to June 29, posting a .156/.308/.218 slash line, but Cecchini caught fire from June 30 to his final game on July 23, going 29 for 82 with a .354/.436/.610 slash line. Speaking at the New Stars for Young Stars fundraiser recently, Cecchini credited the turnaround to adjusting to life as a baseball player.

“It’s just getting into playing pro ball and learning how to be a professional and going about your business on and off the field,” he said of his adjustments. “I really attribute that to our coaching staff and the front office just trying to help me learn how to be a professional. Just slowing the game down, learning to do things the right way – it’s quality not quantity.”

With his wrist now healthy – Cecchini was a full participant in the Fall Instructional League – Cecchini will likely break camp with Single-A Greenville in 2012. Although he did start to figure things out at the plate in Lowell, the high school shortstop continues to work on adjusting to his new position at third base, following a path similar to Sox top prospect Will Middlebrooks.

“It’s definitely challenging,” he said. “I’ve never played third in my life, so you’ve got to get the angles right, you’ve got to learn how to play balls, you’ve got to learn that you can’t play balls like you did at shortstop. I feel like I’ve worked tremendously hard this offseason trying to get better at third base. Hopefully it’s going to pay dividends next season.”

In the meantime, expect to see the Cecchini name making double the news come June, as Garin’s younger brother Gavin is projected to be a first-round pick himself. After going through the process, Garin has given his brother advice on how to approach his senior year and the draft.

“Just enjoy it. He’s never going to get to have a senior year ever again,” Cecchini said. “This is going to be the last time he plays for my dad. He’s going to go through the process just like I did and he’s going to enjoy every moment like I know he will.”

Chris Hatfield is the Executive Editor of SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SPChrisHatfield

 
Copyright © 2003-2014 SoxProspects, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Email: info@soxprospects.com