After a spectacular performance in 2013 split between high-A Salem and AA Portland, Garin Cecchini became an important puzzle piece for the future of the Boston Red Sox. There was only one problem with the contact hitting third baseman: his position. Blocked by Xander Bogaerts at the big league level and by Will Middlebrooks who has been in AAA on rehab for quite some time now, the third baseman needed to find a way to keep getting at-bats. In June, Cecchini started taking fly-balls in practice in the outfield and made his pro debut at the position late that month.
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Although Cecchini never played a position other than third in the pros, this is not his first time playing the outfield. Back in 2009, Garin Cecchini was a top prospect at shortstop, so much so that he was selected to play for team USA on their U-18 team. On a team highlighted by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, players had to do some moving around and Cecchini found himself playing left field. This had little to do with his performance on defense, but more to do with the number of guys on the team who played the same position.
In 17 games for the Paw Sox playing left field, Cecchini has yet to boot a ball and looks good for someone who lacks experience. Manager Kevin Boles agrees that Cecchini, or Cheech as he likes to call him, looks good.
“He’s showing improvement, we’re seeing cleaner routes… he’s been impressive though, he’s a good athlete.”
The skip also goes on and talks about how important versatility is for a player.
“We create versatility in this organization. I think the best example so far to date this year is Brock Holt. We’re seeing some good versatility moving pieces around. It’s something you see throughout the industry and it’s starting to be more valuable”
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Cecchini seems to be handling the switch well and has nothing but positive things to say.
“It’s good, it’s comfortable for me,” said Cecchini, who enjoys getting out there on a regular basis.
Even though he is playing a different position, it does not phase him one bit.
“It’s the same game, same side of the field, just in the outfield.”
A career .500 hitter in the big leagues collecting a hit in a pair of at-bats, he is still hungry for more. With this in mind, he is still the same guy with the goals. His mentality has not changed one bit except in one small way.
“Just wanting to get back up there makes me work harder.”
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His hard work payed off that game when he hit arguably the best ball he hit all year, his 5th home run of the year. On the year, Cecchini’s hitting a slash line of .244/.320/.334 which for him is a down year, but there really is nothing to worry about. Clubbing five home runs this year, he seems to be on par in that department while going 10-for-11 on stolen base attempts. He is still young, has a great approach at the plate, and fares better against right-handed pitching.
Regardless of where he plays in the field, his bat will lead the way and fans should be more than confident that Garin Cecchini will not disappoint. Whether or not he sticks at third base or in left field is up for debate, but it is good to see young guys moving around, adding to their versatility as Kevin Boles went into great detail explaining.