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May 1, 2013 at 7:00 PM

April Players of the Month: Garin Cecchini and Anthony Ranaudo

A pair of 2010 draftees starred this month, consistently dominating the competition in their respective leagues. Garin Cecchini finished with a line of .392/.478/.709 in April to capture his first career SoxProspects.com Player of the Month award, and Anthony Ranaudo threw 21 2/3 dominant innings en route to winning the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month award. It is the first time he has won the award in his career as well.

Cecchini started the season strong in Salem, hitting .302 in his first 11 games. However, he took it to a new level in his last 10 games when he went 18 for 36 with 11 extra-base hits, 11 walks and five strikeouts to end the month, and he even stole six bases without being caught.

In his article last week, SoxProspects.com Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews noted that Cecchini is the best contact hitter in the system, and he profiles a .300 hitter. It is not surprising that he can get hot and hit at close to a .400 clip for a full month, but what is surprising is the amount of power he has shown. Before slugging .709 this past month, Cecchini's highest slugging percentage in any month was .595 in July of 2011 in Lowell. Power is usually the last tool to develop, so it will be interesting to follow his progress in that department this season. 

Up in Portland, Ranaudo's worst start in April was his first, when he went five innings allowing one run on five hits while striking out six. He allowed only two runs the entire month, which is good for a minuscule 0.83 ERA. The 11 hits and two walks he surrendered gave him a 0.60 WHIP. While you are deciding which of those numbers is more impressive, he also added a 26-to-5 strikeout to walk ratio.

Northeast Scout Ian Cundall wrote a Scouting Scratch on Ranaudo after seeing him in spring training, and he noted that his stuff was much improved from last season. Cundall has had follow-up looks early this season in Portland, and the reports are that Ranaudo is sitting 93-94 with his fastball, touching higher, and he has been able to locate it down in the zone consistently. For his full comments, listen to the most recent SoxProspects.com Podcast

Photo Credit: Garin Cecchini by Dave Letizi and Anthony Ranaudo by Kelly O'Connor