Garin Cecchini, 3B
Garin Cecchini gave us all a scare last week when he rolled his ankle and was removed from the Salem Red Sox game, but after missing a few days, he returned to action. In the four games since his return, he has six hits in 14 at-bats with a double and three walks against two strikeouts. He's just crushing the league, leading in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage -- by 50 points! -- and is the only player with an OPS over 900, a mark he's bested by more than 200 points. He's second in both doubles and triples, 11th in homers, sixth in walks, and has more free passes than strikeouts.
It's early yet, but with every day it's easier to believe this is Garin Cecchini's breakout season, the one that puts him in a top-100 list instead of on the periphery of a select few analysts. It's been believed he would grow into his frame and start turning his doubles power into something bigger, and while that hasn't quite happened, you can see that being more believable.
Sean Coyle, 2B
Coyle has hit a bit of a rough patch, but he's also got nine homers, 11 steals without being caught, and 16 extra-base hits in 30 games. He could use some help in the batting average department -- striking out less often than 26 percent of the time would be one way -- but it's hard to complain too much about a second baseman with an Isolated Power just short of .300.
His May as a whole has been disappointing after his insane April, with Coyle at just .172/.239/.328 on the month. Up and downs are expected for a 21-year-old, though, especially one who still has a swing with too many holes in it. If he can shrink those holes, though, then the brighter spots of the Sean Coyle experience can shine through that much more.
Mike Augliera, RHP
Mike Augliera isn't striking out a lot of batters, but expecting him to was probably going to be too much, at least until he figures out how command in the pros works. For now, the fact he's not giving up homers and is keeping walks in check is enough for a positive outlook, and we'll consider the addition of strikeouts refinement of the right approach.
He's getting more than twice as many outs on the ground as in the air, and combined with the walks and homers that just aren't happening, you can safely say he's improved on his command from last year, when there were strikeouts, but also too many balls over the plate and subsequent hard-hit balls. He needs to keep working on that, keeping the ball down in the zone, as his stuff's placement matters more than his stuff. He has a future in relief if he can keep the ball on the ground and get back to missing at least a few more bats, though, at least the latter part can wait a bit until he's in an actual relief scenario and not throwing 5-7 innings each time out.
There's a lot to like here with Augliera, despite his low signing bonus, despite an obvious pure stuff offering, and despite the lack of swing-and-miss. He could be one to surprise from last year's draft class, but he's not quite where he needs to be to say that with authority just yet.
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