Dec 15, 2018

Italian American Mets Infielder: Gavin Cecchini (2016-2017)

Gavin Glenn Christopher Cecchini was born December 22, 1993 at Lake Charles Louisiana. The six foot one, right hand hitting shortstop is listed as weighing in at 180 lbs.

He is the younger brother of Milwaukee Brewers infielder Garin Cecchini. Garin spent two season with the Boston Red Sox playing in just 13 games at the big league level.

Garin made his MLB debut in 2014 & appeared in 13 games for Boston. 

Back in 2012 Cecchini flew to New York for a pre game work out at Citi Field. He did well & got to meet with Mets Captain David Wright. Wright told Cecchini he hoped they'd be team mates soon & Cecchini stayed for the game. 

That was the night Johan Santana threw the first no hitter in Mets history, quite a night to fly in for a game.

2012 Mets #1 Draft Pick: Three days later the Mets selected Cecchini as their first round pick (the #12 player overall) in the 2012 draft. He was selected right out of high school where his father helped coach him. That night he also got a call from David Wright congratulating him on the selection.

In 2012 he started out in the Rookie League with the Kingsport Mets. He moved on to the Brooklyn Cyclones playing five games at the end of their season.

In 2013 he played 51 games at Brooklyn as the teams main short stop, batting .273 second best average on the team to L.J. Mazzilli.

In 2014 he started out at the Mets A ball Savannah Sand Gnats club, getting promoted to the A ball + St. Lucie Mets. He played 68 games there showing a bit more power hitting five HRs, which was more than he had playing the three previous teams combined. As the season ended he played one game at AA Binghamton gong 1-4.

AA Rookie of the Year: In 2015 he was invited to Mets Spring Training camp & enjoyed playing with the eventual NL Champions. He would go on to have what is called a break out year in 2015, winning the Eastern League Rookie of the Year Award.

He played 109 games at AA Binghamton in 2015 batting .317 with a .377 on base % (both in the leagues top five). He hit 7 HRs with 26 doubles & 51 RBIs. He was the teams main shortstop posting a .943 fielding % making 28 errors in 487 chances.

He was rated as the Mets #10 prospect in 2015 moving up to #3 by 2016.

He was once again invited to Mets Spring Training for 2016. He was expected & did spend most of 2016 at AAA Las Vegas with a chance to make a crowded Mets infield in 2017.

Cecchini had a great year at Vegas, coming in third in the Pacific Coast League batting race, behind team mates T.J. Rivera & Brandon Nimmo. Overall he played 117 games at Vegas, batting .325 with 8 HRs 27 doubles 55 RBIs & a .390 on base %.

Ceechini made his MLB debut on September 11th, 2016 in a game at Turner Field. He had his first career at bat, a pinch hit appearance where he struck out. He would appear in just four games at the big league level that September. 

On September 24th he got a start at short stop, making the best of it going 2-3 with two RBIs in the Mets 10-8 loss to the Phillies at Citi Field.

He is evaluated as an decent defensive infielder, with average range although he has already been said to have lost a step. He is recognized for his hitting, he  rarely strikes out, draws walks, hits for average & posts good on base %. 

World Baseball Classic: Cecchini was chosen to play short stop for Team Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. In the first round, he doubled going 1-3 in Team Italy's amazing five run bottom of the 9th come back win over Mexico.

 In the second game an extra inning upsetting loss to Venezuela, Cecchini tied the game in the bottom of the 9th inning, with a base hit scoring Drew Maggi. Drew Butera was thrown out at home representing what would have been the game winning run.

Cecchini was 0-3 in the next loss to Puert Rico & went 0-4 in the final game, where Italy was eliminated losing to Venezuela 4-3. Overall he hit just .133 with an RBI in the tournament.

In 2017 Cecchini began the year at AAA Las Vegas. He was brought up to the big league club in mid June. In his second game up, he homered in a 10-6 Mets loss in Los Angeles. He went back to the minors returning two months later in late August.

He hit safely in 5 of 7 games to get his average to a season high .280. From there he slumped and finished the year batting .208 with just the one HR & 7 RBIs. He saw most of his action defensively at second base.

In 2018 he played just 30 games at AAA Las Vegas, missing time after getting hit in the foot with a pitch. He batted .294 with 2 HRs 11 doubles & 9 RBIs. 

Family: His older brother Garin, is a minor league infielder with the Kansas City Royals. Garin debuted with the Boston Red Sox in 2014 & spent two seasons there batting .229 in just 13 games. 

In 2016 he was at AAA Colorado Springs for the Milwaukee Brewers where he batted .271 with 5 HRs 52 RBIs in 126 games. The Royals signed him in December 2016.

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