Just in time for the New Year, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of topics related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdowns with number seven and work all the way to number one. This week will mark our final Seven in Seven series of the winter as we take a look at the seven best prospects in the Mets farm system. We will begin our countdown with the seventh best prospect, shortstop Gavin Cecchini.
7. SS Gavin Cecchini
Acquired: 12th Overall Pick in 2012 MLB Entry Draft
History: Gavin Cecchini entered the 2012 draft as one of the more intriguing prospects. Even though Cecchini was only 18 years old at the time of the draft, he had distinguished himself at both the high school level and the international level. Cecchini was the starting shortstop on the USA Under 18 team that won the Pan Global Championship and hit .500 with 17 RBI's in 15 tournament games. Cecchini was a bit of a surprise pick for the Mets, who reportedly looked at outfielder Courtney Hawkins intensely before the draft. Cecchini did, however, fit Sandy Alderson's vision of rebuilding the team's farm system up the middle (meaning catcher, middle infield, and center field). Cecchini reported to the rookie league Kingsport Mets and played 53 games there, batting .246 with one homer, 22 RBI's, five stolen bases, and nine doubles. After Kingsport's season ended Cecchini was promoted to the low-A Brooklyn Cyclones, where he appeared in five games before their season ended.
Pros: Solid Gap Power, Good Speed, Solid Fielding Instincts, Defensive Versatility
Cons: Only Average Hands/Range, Needs to cut down on Strikeouts
Major League ETA: 2015
Cecchini should spend the 2013 season split between Brooklyn and Port St. Lucie, and that is perfectly fine at this stage of his development. Cecchini can play either second or shortstop, but he is being developed as a shortstop at the moment. Cecchini is being groomed in the hopes of eventually serving as an upgrade over either Ruben Tejada or Daniel Murphy, and while his raw numbers may not look too hot right now Cecchini brings a lot to the table that can't be quantified. Cecchini's strong baseball instincts and winning pedigree are qualities that are lacking at the big league level, and he should be ready to challenge for big league playing time by 2015.
Check back tomorrow as we reveal the sixth best prospect in the Mets farm system!
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