High-A Salem third baseman Garin Cecchini is now Double-A Portland's third baseman, as he has been promoted to the next level up according to WEEI's Alex Speier. Cecchini has hit .350/.469/.547 in 63 games in the Carolina League, and just participated in that league's all-star game. He finishes his time in the Carolina League as not only the lone player with an OPS over 1000, but also as one of only three players over 900 -- the next-highest to Cecchini's 1016 mark is Robby Heffinger's 926.
Cecchini will have to be in something of a time share at third base in Portland, as the Sea Dogs already have Michael Almanzar at the hot corner. Almanzar isn't having quite the season that Cecchini is, but he's still hit .284/.343/.494, reviving his prospect status fully despite a promotion to the most advanced league he's played in -- plus, Almanzar is just 22 years old -- the same age as Cecchini -- so even though he's been in the system for six years already, he's far too young to simply give up on because a shiny new toy is in town.
The Sea Dogs will have to work something out with Almanzar and Cecchini splitting time at third, with the other spending time at designated hitter. They can also split time at first base with Travis Shaw, who is also a candidate to DH, in order to make sure all three are in the lineup each night.
Cecchini is certainly deserving of this promotion. Baseball Prospectus recapped the first half of the minor-league season today, and Jason Parks had this to say about Cecchini:
Cecchini was always a good stick, but he was only ranked number six in the Red Sox system and failed to crack the BP 101 coming into the season. The 22-year-old is now firmly in the top 50 prospects in the game, hitting a robust .350/.469/.547 in the first half in the Carolina League. It remains to be seen if he can stick at the hot corner, but the bat-to-ball ability is legit, and he hasn't even tapped into his power potential yet.
Similarly, Keith Law recently ranked Cecchini the #23 prospect in the minors in his updated look at his top-50. Cecchini always had the latent potential, but this year, it's been showing itself since day one.
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