Originally posted on Mets Minor League Blog:
Yesterday, I put up a link to Baseball America, who had ranking Mets SS Gavin Cecchini #12 the #12 prospect in the Appalachian League. The comment section was largely, but not exclusively, negative about Cecchini. Maybe it’s because the Mets are 71-84, and headed for their fourth straight losing season and sixth straight out of the playoffs and therefore, everything the Mets do is wrong. Apparently, there is no escaping that climate of complaining.
Cecchini is a gifted defensive shortstop, who, as an 18-year old, hit .246/.311/.330 in 53 games in the Appalachian League which as a whole averaged .254/.329/.382. He showed some strike zone control, with a 2.4 K/BB ratio (43 K/18 BB) and a strikeout rate of 19% and a walk rate of 8%. Oh, and he played August while recovering from a broken finger. He was young for his league.
I liked Cecchini’s swing more than I was expecting too, but he will need to add strength to his wiry frame. Defensively, his hands were fine for short. However, I left concerned about his range. The game I saw, he did not produce an average running time to first. It’s hard to play an average shortstop without average to plus speed. In my opinion, it is nearly impossible to be a plus shortstop without plus speed. In Cecchini’s defense, he was running on a wet track, and I saw him for one game and one BP/infield session only.