EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 29, 2013

On-base machine Cecchini making his case at third base

Portland Sea Dogs third baseman Garin Cecchini, one of the top prospects in the Boston Red Sox system, entered yesterday with a .416 on-base percentage in 945 minor league plate appearances.

That’s 82 points higher than recently demoted Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks’ on-base percentage in 1,735 minor league plate appearances.

Cecchini certainly is showing terrific plate discipline, the ability to work counts and get on base. That is what separates him from the free-swinging Middlebrooks and makes Cecchini the more likely candidate to be the Red Sox’ long-term solution at third base.

“I’ve felt consistent really since (playing at) Lowell,” said Cecchini who just recently was promoted from Single-A Salem to Double-A Portland. “It’s just a matter of putting things together where you know which pitches you can drive and which pitches you can swing at and hit well. That all comes with time. I guess time’s on my side.”

Time is on his side. Cecchini just turned 22 on April 20. A 2010 fourth-round pick out of Barbe High in Lake Charles, La., Cecchini tore up Single-A Salem in the same fashion Red Sox prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. did last season.

In 214 at-bats at Salem, Cecchini hit .350 with a .469 on-base percentage, .547 slugging percentage, 1.016 OPS, five homers, 33 RBIs, 19 doubles, four triples and 15 steals. Entering Friday, he was 7 for 21 (.333) with a .417 on-base percentage with Portland.

“That’s how I help my team win — I get on base,” Cecchini said.

Cecchini vs. Middlebrooks

Middlebrooks showed tremendous power last summer (15 homers, 14 doubles in 267 at-bats) during his rookie season with Boston. He also had a .288 average.

But three concerning stats stood out: his .325 on-base percentage, 13 walks in 286 plate appearances and a rather higher-than-normal .341 batting average for balls in play. The latter indicated his average would drop this season.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Manziel mature enough to start? Ditka Blames 'Politically Correct Idiots' For Redskins Controversy - @TheBuzzeronFOx Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Is Taney a team of destiny? Taney Dragons wins in walk-off comback fashion Coach Rice has full confidence in Davis vs. Nevada SNC Minute: Maclin tweaks hamstring; Phils lose Bottalico: Giles 'has the makings of a closer' McCarthy and Stairs recap Phils' 3rd straight loss Training Camp Central: Eagles brave the weather in Foxborough Shady and Chip on 2000 yard season 3 takeaways from Eagles' joint practice in Foxborough Checking for Charity Hockey Tournament begins August 14th What are Eagles' options if Maclin goes down again? Mosher: Maclin disappointed after tweaking hamstring Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX
Boston Sports
Brian Westbrook: I wouldn’t hand the Browns over to Johnny Football’ Farrell 1-on-1: Biggest lessons learned from 2014 Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Manziel mature enough to start? Ditka Blames 'Politically Correct Idiots' For Redskins Controversy - @TheBuzzeronFOx Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Farrell: Bradley, Jr. sent to ‘maintain adjustments’ Farrell: ‘A ‘neighborhood play’ is not a reviewable play’ Bogaerts: ‘I knew he was safe if they replayed it’ Fans Excited For Patriots Preseason Kickoff Curran: Brady, Mallett & Garoppolo expected to play tomorrow Pedro Martinez on Lester: “I would like to see him come back’ Greeting from Foxboro: What to look for in Patriots-Eagle preseason game Pedro, Clemens and Nomar on the honor of joining Red Sox Hall of Fame Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Volin: Eagles vs Patriots may be a Superbowl preview Curran: Breaking down the Patriots Camp battles