The first two rounds of voting went as expected, producing lopsided results for Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Round three? Not so much, as the vote finally started to split, with Garin Cecchini coming away the victor with only a plurality.
Still, a plurality is plenty enough. And Cecchini has been earning those votes when he's been on the field. Injury kept him from really establishing himself early on, but a full 2012 season saw him hit .300, draw a ton of walks, and even steal 51 bases for Greenville, leaving no doubt about his place as a top prospect in Boston.
The steals haven't quite lasted--he managed just 23 in 32 tries this year--but that's easy to forgive in light of a .443 OBP split between Salem and Portland. The perfect combination of discipline and contact, Cecchini has emerged as the toughest out in Boston's system, and if his defense hasn't progressed as steadily as hoped, his ability to get on base should carry any lasting deficiency there.
Of course, those ridiculous numbers will take some hit upon transition to the majors, but talent evaluators generally seem to agree that he's going to hit in he majors. The question for Cecchini now seems to be whether he can add any power to that game. His seven homers in 454 at bats aren't quite what you usually expect from a corner infielder, but he's got size enough to project a few more given time. It's a nice combination: a floor high enough that adding power isn't necessary, and a ceiling high enough to dream about if he does.
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
- Garin Cecchini, 3B
We move on to #4 now, and there's still plenty of top talents left to choose from.
A reminder of how this works: I'll name candidates in the comments below, and you rec the comment of the player you want to vote for. For those unfamiliar with how to go about that, just click "actions" underneath the comment and then "rec." Nice and easy, though you do have to be a member to join in.
On the off chance I forget or otherwise leave someone out, you are free to start your own voting thread for that player. I'll even give it a rec of my own to make up for your vote.
As for rules, please stick to just the one vote. That's about it.