After a mini-breakout last season with Double-A Binghamton, former first rounder (2012) Gavin Cecchini has continued to impress at the plate in 2016 over 460 plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas. In the midst of an already loud offensive campaign, Cecchini has been an absolute force over his past two series (comprising 36 plate appearances), slashing .441/.457/.647 and raising his slash line for the season to .325/.388/.449. Cecchini has nearly as many walks (43) as strikeouts (52) over his 109 games this year – his second straight season flirting with a 1:1 BB:SO ratio in the upper-minors – and continues to draw praise for his overall approach at the plate and general feel for contact. He handles hard and soft stuff alike with an ability to track from same- and oppo-side arms alike, making him a decent bet to maintain solid contact rates despite a jump to big league competition.
While there’s little question Cecchini will continue to find ways to put barrel to ball once taking his cuts in Queens, there is a risk there isn’t enough present juice in the bat to keep Major League arms honest. There will be pressure on the infielder to show an ability to drive the ball to the gaps in order to force opposition arms to work the margins more frequently, where Cecchini will be able to utilize his strike zone command to continue to draw free passes and add on-base value. If his on-base-to-average delta dips too greatly from the 60 or so points where it’s generally sat the last two seasons he likely becomes a pure down-order bat with a utility profile.
Defensively, Cecchini is capable at short but unlikely to be an impact defender there. He has the arm strength and his hands work well enough to allow for some versatility across the dirt and an increase his value as a potential utility option. While the profile doesn’t scream superstar, Cecchini should be a useful piece for the Mets in short order. If he can tease enough gap pop or on-base utility to go with a solid average defensive profile, you could be looking at a quality everyday contributor.