ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK: Cecchini invited to New York for MLB Draft, by Chase Parham
Gavin Cecchini is four weeks from finding out his future, but that life-altering moment isn’t currently on the front of his mind.
The Lake Charles (Barbe), La., shortstop will be in New York on June 4 for the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Baseball has long been a primary
part of his life, and Cecchini is poised to come off the board very early and be presented with a sizable signing bonus to potentially skip his scholarship to Ole Miss.
That date has been set for months, but Cecchini is focused on the current chore – winning his first high school state title. Barbe (28-6) faces Baton Rouge Catholic on Monday in the second round of the Louisiana 5A state tournament. With a win, the tradition-rich Buccaneers would be two victories from a championship.
Cecchini’s brother, Garin, bypassed college baseball at LSU and accepted a $1.31 million signing bonus with the Red Sox in 2010. Garin Cecchini’s advice to his brother was don’t rush the order of things.
“My brother said to enjoy my last games with my family and my teammates,” Gavin Cecchini said. “He said to let it come to me and don’t go to the Draft before it’s time. I really am focused on finishing this season.”
While mostly speculation at this point, mock drafts have Cecchini drafted in the top 20 picks, and scout scuttlebutt says he won’t be available past the Blue Jays at No. 17 overall. After all, invitations to the MLB Draft telecast don’t go out to just anyone.
“I got invited to New York to be there at the MLB Network studio,” Cecchini said. “Commissioner Bud Selig and guys like Dave Winfield and Craig Biggio will be there. I’m just so blessed to be a part of it.”
The spotlight and schedule ahead would be overwhelming to many teenagers, but Cecchini thrives on it. Scouts occasionally outnumber fans at his away games, and he’s played a rigorous and highly competitive travel schedule for several years.
Last fall, he played with Team USA and led the 18U National Team to an undefeated record and a Pan-American gold medal in Colombia. During the 15-game schedule, Cecchini hit .500 with a 1.201 OPS and had a .971 fielding percentage at shortstop.
“I’ve been playing in front of scouts since sophomore year,” Cecchini said. “Every shortstop my dad (Glenn Cecchini is Barbe’s head coach) has coached has been drafted. There are always scouts at Barbe and of course the summer circuit. It pumps you up, but you have to remember it’s always the same game.”
This spring, scouts have gotten an even more accurate reading on Cecchini’s abilities. After giving the BBCOR (Ball-Bat Coefficient of Restitution) aluminum bats a quick test run, he switched to wood and has continued using the professional-grade bats all season.
“I used BBCOR one tournament last summer and didn’t like it,” Cecchini said. “Then when I got back from Colombia I tried again, but they didn’t feel right. I told my dad I tried it but didn’t like it, and I was really comfortable with the wood. First game after the switch I hit a bomb with the wood and never looked back.”
Cecchini has seven home runs swinging the wood and missed the first six games of the season with a minor hamstring issue. His already top-tier draft potential has trended upward, but he’d be the last to know. Cecchini doesn’t even check his stats during the season – nevertheless his draft projection.
“The organization that picks me is the team that is meant to pick me,” Cecchini said. “I’m a Christian, and that’s what team God wants me to be on. It’s a win-win situation for me. If you don’t get what you want or aren’t happy, I’m going to Ole Miss. There, I’ll get great coaching and play in a great facility.”
Cecchini talked to Ole Miss recruiting coordinator Carl Lafferty on Saturday and stays in close contact with fellow signees Ty Hensley and Stryker Trahan. All three could go in the first round in four weeks.
“Those are two of my best friends, and we are really close,” Cecchini said. “They are dealing with a lot of the same things that I am, and we’ll know soon, but it is what it is.
“I’ve worked hard for a long time, and when that night comes, I’ll just wait and see like everybody else.”
Filed under: 2012: USA High School Player Updates