As noted in Michael Mayer’s excellent article on MMO, Mets middle infield prospect Gavin Cecchini is breaking down every element of his game, and he is building himself back up again in the hopes of once again becoming a top Mets prospect. This includes Cecchini completely reworking his swing, adding more muscles, and apparently, now, Cecchini wants to be more of a threat on the basepaths.
The latter is quite an interesting development. First and foremost, as noted in Abbey Mastracco’s NJ.com article about Cecchini, the decision came at the prodding of Dominic Smith. It’s more interesting because Cecchini has never really been a stolen base threat.
As noted in Bernie Pleskoff’s Fan Rag Sports Scouting Report on Cecchini, the 24 year old infielder has average speed. While Pleskhoff believes Cecchini does have good speed which permits him to stretch the occasional single into a double, he does not have the type of speed that can be utilized as a real weapon. In fact, on the topic, Pleskoff concludes Cecchini “won’t serve his team as a base-stealing wizard.”
That certainly follows much of Cecchini’s minor league career. In fact, in his six years in the minors, Cecchini has only attempted 49 stolen bases, and he only has a 59% success rate. Last season, Cecchini only attempted nine stolen bases in Triple-A, and he was only successful in five attempts. With these stats, this is not exactly the type of runner you would typically encourage to run more.
However, this is ultimately about Cecchini improving as a ballplayer in every aspect of his game. It’s about doing what it takes to make it to the Major Leagues and stick there. Ultimately, it’s about being the best baseball player he can be; one who can help his team win games.
As Cecchini said himself, “I definitely want to steal more bases this year because I have speed, but I never really tried to steal and you can’t steal bases if you don’t try to steal. Why not? If I can steal bases, I can help the team win and that’s more runs. I’m definitely going to be looking to do that this year too.”
Cecchini has come into Spring Training having worked on every aspect of his game and with a new attitude. He not only wants to be a threat at the plate, he also wants to be a threat on the basepaths. If successful, he’s going to be in the Majors sooner rather than later.