Garin Cecchini's stock continues rising

By By Jim Gazzolo / American Press

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 “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


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.