Last Modified: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 10:22 AM
Garin Cecchini is one step closer to living out his dream.
The Barbe High School graduate was added to the 40-man roster of the Boston Red Sox Wednesday.
The fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft would have been Rule 5 eligible if not added to the roster because he was signed by Boston when he was 19.
“This is very humbling and exciting,” said Cecchini. “This is another step in my dream to play in the major leagues.”
Cecchini is coming off an impressive summer when he hit .322 and led all of the minor leagues with an on-base percentage of .443 while splitting time between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He finished the year with seven home runs, 61 RBIs and 146 hits, including seven triples, in 129 games and safe on 23 of 32 steal attempts.
During his three years in the minor leagues Cecchini has made three All-Star teams. The third-baseman also made an impact in the All-Star Futures Game, doubling in a run.
The roster move also means that he will be attending his first major league camp this spring, and with the World Series champs as an added bonus.“Really looking forward to getting to camp,” Cecchini said. “I will be a sponge and soak it all in. I will be all ears and no mouth and learn everything I can.”
The 6-foot-2, 200 pound 22-year old is making a name for himself without the numbers as well.
Playing for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League this year, Cecchini was given the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award by the managers of the six teams in the league.
The award is a tribute to the former Reds outfielder who was murdered while playing in the AFL in 2003. It goes to someone who exemplifies Stenson’s unselfishness, hard work and leadership.
“This is a great honor,” said Cecchini. “You always want to be seen for what you do on the playing field, but to be known as a good teammate, a good leader, that is just as important.
“Especially with the Red Sox. The organization puts a lot of emphasis on character and I want to fit in and be a part of that.”
The left-handed hitter batted .277 to help Surprise to the AFL championship.
He signed a $1.31 million contract with the Red Sox despite tearing the ACL in his right knee during his senior season at Barbe. His first year in the minors ended after just 32 games when was hit by a pitch and broke his wrist.
However, those setbacks haven’t stopped him.
“After getting hurt in high school I wasn’t sure anybody would draft me, so just getting the chance was great,” he said. “Injuries put a damper on the start of my career but it has worked out.”
His work and attitude has made an impression on others around him.
“Cheech is a guy who shows up every day, and whether he went 0-for-4 or 4-for-4 prior, he’s not affected by results,” Saguaros manager Gary Kendall told MLB.com. “He plays the game the right way. He plays hard from start to finish. He’s a good guy in the clubhouse, he’s a good guy in the dugout and he’s a good player.”
Cecchini, whose brother Gavin is a shortstop who was the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft by the New York Mets, wants to make the most of his chances.
“I get to play baseball for a living and that is not a bad thing,” he said.
And now he will get his chance to do that at an even higher level.
Posted By: Brenda Heitman On: 11/26/2013
This is so awesome for a great young man!!!!!