After growing up idolizing Derek Jeter, Gavin Cecchini will now hope to emulate his crosstown rival.
Cecchini was selected by the New York Mets with the 12th pick in the First-Year Player draft on Monday.
Cecchini grew up a Yankees fan and wore Jeter’s jersey (No. 2) while leading Barbe to the state tournament in each of his four seasons. Cecchini hit .413 with seven home runs, 32 RBIs and 31 steals this year while leading the Bucs to the Class 5A state championship. He won the Mr. Baseball Award, given annually to the state’s most outstanding player, following the season.
Cecchini was at the draft when the pick was made and was interviewed on the MLB Network broadcast immediately following the pick’s announcement. He was one of 15 prospects invited to New York for the draft.
“I’m speechless. This has been my dream
and to get drafted by the Mets, and have a chance to play on the
biggest stage, it
is unbelievable,” said Cecchini, son of Barbe head coach Glenn
Cecchini. “You can’t ask for anything more.”
Cecchini worked out for the Mets Friday and chatted with Mets all-star third baseman David Wright at Citi Field. He also worked out for the Rockies, Cardinals and Blue Jays.
“I knew the Mets liked me and had watched me all through the year,” he said. “I kind of had an idea it might be them but I did not know until my name was called. When I heard it, my body went numb.”
Gavin’s older brother Garin is a third baseman in the Boston Red Sox organization and enjoying success with the Class A Greenville Drive, hitting .306.
Garin was a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft.
Gavin said his all-around game will help him advance through the professional ranks should he sign. If he doesn’t, he will play at Ole Miss. The deadline to sign is July 13.
“I think my makeup is going to help me be a good pro more than anything,” he said. “After that, I can hit, field, run and throw. I have unwavering belief in myself.”
Catcher Stryker Trahan of Acadiana High School was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 26th pick in the first round.
The first and compensation rounds were held Monday, and the draft continues today.
Sulphur alumnus J.T. Chargois, a pitcher and infielder at Rice, is expected to be an early selection today. He is projected to be a relief pitcher professionally.
Chargois went 4-1 with eight saves and a 2.15 ERA this season. He also hit .323 with 31 RBIs while playing first base and designated hitter.