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November 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Garin Cecchini

#6 Garin Cecchini, 3B
2012 Teams: Greenville Drive
2012 Stats: .305/.394/.433, 4 HR, 62 RBI, 38 2B, 51 SB

Pre-2012: Cecchini was high on many draft radars in 2010. The shortstop from Barbe High School in Louisiana showed polish on both sides of the ball at an early age in his junior season, but an ACL injury cost Cechini the majority of his senior year. He was selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and Boston was able to sign Cecchini away from a strong commitment to LSU with a  $1.31 million bonus.

Cecchini made his professional debut in 2011 with the Short-Season A Lowell Spinners. After some initial struggles in his first couple weeks, Cecchini began to show his prowess at the plate. The 6-foot-3 Cecchini hit .298/.398/.500 with three home runs, 23 RBI, 12 doubles and 12 stolen bases in 32 games. The stellar freshman season earned him a selection to the NY-Penn League All-Star team, although a wrist fracture ended Cecchini's season on July 23, just as he was beginning to hit his stride. Making the move from shortstop to third base as a professional, Cecchini experienced a learning curve in the field as he made ten errors and at times looked rough at the hot corner.

2012 Season in Review: Cecchini was placed with Low A Greenville to begin 2012 and had a successful first full season. A pedestrian April saw him hit .268/.341/.341 with no home runs and just four RBI, but when the calendar hit May, Cecchini made some adjustments and took off, hitting .336/.429/.533 with three home runs and 24 RBI. Fully recovered from his injuries and with a year of professional experience under his belt, Cecchini's defense at third base was also drastically improved from his initial foray in Lowell. The 21-year-old left-handed hitter was named a South Atlantic League All-Star after his strong performance in the first half of the season. While Cecchini's first half was impressive, his second half was even stronger, as he hit .326/.425/.456 with one home run, 21 doubles, 27 RBI and 30 stolen bases. An exceptional base runner, Cecchini's 51 stolen bases led all Boston minor leaguers and earned him Red Sox Minor League Base Runner of the Year honors. 

2013 Outlook: Cecchini is likely ticketed to begin 2013 with the High A Salem Red Sox, where he will look to continue improving defensively at the hot corner and further progress at the plate against more advanced competition. Many scouts believe that Cecchini has the ability to eventually display above-average power, something that may begin to show after Garin collected 38 doubles and four home runs in 2012. With Will Middlebrooks firmly entrenched at the hot corner in Boston, top prospect Xander Bogaerts seen by some as a potential third baseman down the line, and Michael Almanzar coming off a bounce-back year in Salem, Cecchini may begin to run into a potential roster crunch in front of him, making him a potential trade candidate in the future as the Red Sox look to rebuild the major league roster. However, the Sox will be more than happy to hold onto Cecchini, who still could be a potential all-star third baseman if everything goes right in his development.

Previous Editions:
11/1: #7 Blake Swihart

Photo Credit: Garin Cecchini by Kelly O'Connor