On Second Thought Cecchini Is Now A Second Baseman

By Mets Daddy

March 27, 2017 15 Comments

gavin cecchini

Between the emergence of Amed Rosario and his defensive struggles, it was only a matter of time before the Mets looked to move Gavin Cecchini to another position.  With both Rosario and Cecchini likely to start the 2017 season in Las Vegas, that time is now. Fortunately, the Mets have a plan in place for their 2012 first round draft pick.

According to Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review Journal, the plan is for Cecchini to play at second base during the 2017 season.

The transition may prove to be a good one.

While Cecchini has the arm and the range to play shortstop, he has simply amassed too many throwing errors at the position. Whatever the reason for the errors, the ultimate hope is that if Cecchini has a shorter throw, he is going to cut down on a good number of those errors. If that is the case, he may have found a new home.

At a minimum, exposing Cecchini to second base makes him a more versatile player, and it increases the chances he gets called to the majors. That is something which appeals to Cecchini.

As Cecchini told the Las Vegas Review Journal, “You don’t want to wish injuries upon anyone, but if someone goes down, instead of just the only position I can play is shortstop, I’m more versatile.  It gives me a better chance to get up there and help the team win.”

In Cecchini’s limited time with the Mets last season and in the minors, he showed a real ability to hit. He showed that his bat could play well at both middle infield positions. Certainly, if Cecchini can continue to improve offensively and be the second baseman the Mets hope he can be, Cecchini will have a real future with the Mets.

Ultimately, while no one wants to be forced from their position by another player, the real goal here is to make the major leagues. Cecchini gets that, and he is going to get a better chance to be called up to the majors and stick there because of it. He has the talent and the right attitude.

In the long run, this is a good thing for both him and the Mets organization.

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  • Interesting to see what his future holds. Would still seem like he has more upside then guys like tj rivera, matt reynolds etc so an MLB opportunity in 2017 (pre september) is possible.
    But I waited all offseason for him to be traded and I guess part of me is still waiting lol

  • IndianaMet

    Rosario clearly the SS of the future. And Gavin must learn to play second base for his career development if he remains a Met. But you can’t think that a high error total at this stage in his career means he can’t play SS in the future. Perennial gold gloves Vizquel and Ozzie Smith had incredibly high error totals in their first five or six years as MLB short stops. Young players actually can improve on the weaker aspects of their game.

  • Dave_in_Spain

    Not all errors are equal. Sometimes errors at SS are the result of extreme range and getting to balls that others can´t reach, then not being able to finish the play. And some errors are physical or mental glitches that can kill a career.

  • Dave_in_Spain

    In reading the first sentence I thought for a second that it was referring to Rosario´s defensive struggles, and I thought ¨What??”. Maybe if it said “his own defensive struggles”?
    In any case, good article! I agree with all the points… probable future home, as well as defensive versatility. He also saw some time at 3B in ST…

  • missthemets

    hope he doesn’t get the Steve Sax Syndrome
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Sax

  • philosophery

    I agree. Ozzie Smith led the league in errors during his first 2 major league seasons.

  • Nessim Toledano

    This move is long overdue, and may also fall into the “too little, too late” category. First, I disagree that Cecchini has the arm and range to play SS at the major league level. He barely gets to balls in the hole in spring training, and his throws, even the good ones, barely get to 1B on time. And thats before we get into his ridiculous error rate. Rosario was already putting up big numbers in Bingo by the end of July when Dilson Herrera was traded. Cecchini should have played all of his last 30 games in Vegas at 2B last year. Had he established that he can, indeed, pay the position competently, the Mets could have begun experimenting with him in the OF this spring. If Ty Kelly falters and Nimmo and Lagares remain out for the long term, whats the Mets next option? Cecchini might be able to step in at that point. Grandy and Bruce are on their ways out out next year, and Flores and TJ Rivera available to play 2B, Cecchini might make a good IF/OF combo utility player.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Its a ridiculous, thoughtless analogy that holds no water. Cecchini’s error rate is not just bad; its well beyond horrible. And in point of fact, Vizquel’s error total was never very high. He made 18 errors in 143 games his rookie year in the majors. Smith made 25, but that was in 159 games. Not good. But not the worst we’ve seen, and they both made up for it with their great ranges. Cecchini made 33 errors in only 105 games at short last year. That would be 45 errors if he played the same 143 games as Vizquel, and 50 in 159 games. His throwing problems are beyond ridiculous, and are even worse than Flores’ when everyone killed him a couple of years back. And Omar and Ozzie had absolutely terrific range, both of which were immeasurably better than Cecchini’s. Their errors were often on very difficult plays. Cecchini makes bad throws on any kind of play, routine or challenging.

  • Nessim Toledano

    But that’s not the case, here. We don’t need a lesson in generic baseball wisdom if it does not apply to the player being discussed. Cecchini doesn’t have great range, just barely adequate range. His errors are not just on difficult plays, their on any and every kind of play, plenty of them on routine plays. And the error rate is not just high, its horrible. He would make more than FORTY errors a year if he’d played a full season. And thats at AAA where the game moves more slowly than at the major league level.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Not true. He never ever led the league in errors at short. He made a lot of errors compared with his later years, but he didn’t even come close to the league leader in either of those years.

  • IndianaMet

    Full disclosure here, I’ve never seen Cecchini play, save for a handful of games.

    But you don’t give up on a 22 year old kid. Obviously Rosario is the SS of the future and by default GC moves to 2nd base, case closed.

    Jeter made 50+ errors during his first year of pro ball.

  • Nessim Toledano

    If you don’t actually know about Cecchini, then maybe he’s not the player on whom you should be commenting. In point of fact, teams DO give up on 22 years olds (and younger) all the time. The Mets released 23 players rookie or low A ball this off season. Teams move players away from shortstop all the time because their skill set does not hold up as they move up in level. Heck, they even draft shortstops EXPECTING to have to move them in a year or two.
    Jeter made 22 his first full year, and 24 about 4 years later. And unless you’re over 75 years old, nobody in your entire lifetime has made 50 errors in one season. And Cecchini is no Jeter. He never has been. The two do not belong in the same conversation. Jeter was tabbed for superstardom early on. The Cecchini pick was criticized by scouts and GMs from Day One because everyone felt the Mets took him too early and could have gotten him a round later.

  • IndianaMet

    All great points made by you.

    Even with the snarky attitude, telling me who I can and can’t comment about.

    And Jeter made 56 errors in 1993 for Greensboro in the SAL. All while being named the best defensive player in the league.

  • philosophery

    Wow! I didn’t realize that 30 errors in 1981 didn’t lead the league by in errors.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Another comparison that doesn’t apply here. You’re comparing a 19 year old at low A in his second year of minor league ball to a 22 year old with five years under his belt. Thats a WORLD of difference. You’re ignoring the fact that Jeter cut his error rate by 55% the following year while Cecchini’s has never improved, and has even gotten worse over the past two years. Once again, they don’t even belong in the same conversation.
    The reality is that the skill set that made Gavin an adequate shortstop at the lower levels just isn’t good enough to play at the upper levels. Thats just all there is to it.