Feb 23, 2014; Ft Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Garin Cecchini poses during photo day at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Pawtucket Prospect View


Sep 29, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Rubby De La Rosa (62) throws the ball in the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Pawtucket is an easy drive for me and I had the opportunity to see a Will Middlebrooks rehab start a week ago as Pawtucket lost to Rochester 8-1. Middlebrooks took the collar with an 0-for-4. Middlebrooks represented a subplot as my main interest was in the prospect pipeline. I will occasionally post my observations on selected prospects who may be on the fast track to Boston.

This was the third game in which I have seen Christian Vasquez at Pawtucket. Vasquez has certainly opened eyes with his defensive capabilities as he has progressed through the system and it shows with a 44% CS rate that only enhances his value. In two previous games Vasquez was the catcher and demonstrated that take-charge presence that one expects from the position. Physically Vasquez reminds me of a long ago catcher, Clint Courtney, who was compact and muscular.

In this particular contest Vasquez was the DH with Dan Butler assuming catching duties. Vasquez is currently at .292/.342/.417 and is second in the IL in doubles. Vasquez is demonstrating that growth pattern at the offensive end that will certainly make an impact on catching decisions with the contracts of David Ross and A.J. Pierzynski set to expire after the 2014 season. Vasquez will be worth watching especially if a catcher is needed during the season.

Garin Cecchini continues to impress me. I attend Pawtucket games with a longtime friend who has exceptional baseball credentials. The weakness he observes is Cecchini still needs to improve on the defensive side. Cecchini is currently at .304/.398/.380 so a quick glance at the numbers reflects both plate discipline and limited power. Cecchini has impressive at bats and that OBP certainly attracts the metrics conscious front office. I have often thought that Cecchini reminds me of a young Alex Gordon, but without that power, and, like Gordon, may eventually be in left field.

Anthony Ranaudo started the game and the only way to describe the effort was awful. Ranaudo was all over the place with four walks in three innings. For the season Ranaudo has a 2:1 K/BB rate and he did follow-up with five innings of shutout ball in his next start. Ranaudo is at a critical point in his career and more consistent progress is needed.

I have not seen Rubby De La Rosa this season and based on the stats I doubt many IL hitters wish to see Rubby since they are currently at .163 against De La Rosa. A 25:17 K/BB rate is excellent and reflected in a WHIP of 0.80, which is second in the IL. De La Rosa deserves a long look and just may get it. Currently De La Rosa is in the rotation and if a spot starter is necessary it may well be worth taking another look at Rubby.

Tags: Anthony Ranaudo Christian Vasquez Garin Cecchini Rubby De La Rosa

  • Aaron Somers

    What makes you think that Cecchini will end up being moved to left field? I’ve been at a number of Pawtucket’s games this year. I’ll grant you that the view from the press box is a little different than that from the stands, but I’ve seen nothing in his game defensively to suggest that he can’t handle third base long term. He’s shown quick instincts and hustle in the field, plus a strong and relatively consistent arm.

    • Rick M

      Well, Aaron, I referenced that opinion was based on observations of someone else who has see Garin this season extensively. His opinion is simply based on his observations and I tossed it out that maybe LF is a potential option based on future team needs and defensive. My comparison was what KC did with Gordon.
      I know at Sox Prospects Chaz Fiorino , among others, noted similar comments regarding Cecchini’s defense. The defensive question mark has been following Cecchini around since he signed.

      • Aaron Somers

        Fair enough. I was more curious what triggered the idea and wasn’t intending on challenging you on it. I happen to disagree based on what I’ve seen myself, but I’m hardly a scout and won’t pretend to be one.

        • Rick M

          Neither am I, Aaron. I’ve been following the various comments regarding Cecchini and his defense ever since he signed on. When I had seen that mention a year or so ago about the possibility of locating Garin elsewhere (DH, IB, LF) it struck home with what KC did with Gordon, who was a decent third baseman. Personally, I hope you are right on his defense. Anyways, WMB is not exactly stellar at third.
          What strikes me about Cecchini is his size. This guy is big. That’s what makes those power numbers, or lack of, so, at least to me, strange. What do you think is the reason? I’ve seen him in a handful of games and his swings are aggressive.

          • Aaron Somers

            I can’t pinpoint it. He reminds me a lot of Boggs at the plate when it comes to his approach. Wade wasn’t a big power guy. He was a line drive hitter but he had the ability to seemingly put the ball wherever he wanted on command. Cecchini obviously isn’t on that same level yet but he’s a similar type of hitter from what I’ve seen.

          • Rick M

            I agree. Boggs also had that same defensive question mark, but made himself a respectable defender and did play some 1B. What I see missing with Garin is that stinging gap power like Boggs had. He looks great at the plate, except for that 4K doughnut in ST, and appears accomplished. The few times I have seen him at “The Bucket” and on TV Garin has that great ability to foul off a tough pitch and keep an AB going.
            You can tell from the article I posted on Rollins that I have really soured on WMB. I’d be tempted to give WMB another six weeks and then, if WMB continues to tank, bring up Cecchini.

          • Aaron Somers

            Giving Middlebrooks some time to figure things out and then going with Cecchini if he doesn’t makes far more sense to me than trading for Rollins. I think the team wants to give Cecchini as much time as he needs in Triple-A, so it actually wouldn’t surprise me to see them go with Brock Holt first (maybe even a Holt/Herrera platoon) though.

          • Rick M

            I wonder just how long a leash one gives WMB? If the long range goals is to give him a two year shot that is fine. If the Sox need some help right now for leadoff and to stabilize the defense then the short term would be Rollins.

          • Aaron Somers

            Rollins isn’t coming to Boston, nor is he the answer to the team’s leadoff needs.

          • Rick M

            I will now get off the Devil’s Advocate bandwagon.