Garin Cecchini was drafted out of high school in the fourth round (143rd) overall in the 2010 draft. Originally committed to LSU, Garin discusses why he chose the Red Sox, rehab back from knee surgery, and his biggest challenge last year, which was far from physical.
1. How did the Fall Instructional League go for you? How did it contribute to your development? What did you see it as an opportunity for?
It went well. It was my first time to actually get out there. I had surgery six months before that, and I had tendinitis real bad in my
knee, so I didn’t get to play any and they just kept me back, and it was real
painful. The off season was [about]
getting my knee healthy and that pain going away, so I’m healthy now I’m 100% for
2. When did you sustain that knee injury?
March 13th, and I had surgery the 19th.
3. Has the surgery changed your approach at all? Even something small like your batting stance?
No, I didn’t change my batting stance. It didn’t change [me] overall. It changed my thinking of the game: to not take the game for granted. I
mean you can get hurt any time and your career can be done.
4. What was the deciding factor in choosing to come here over going to college first?
Of course Boston with its history, and it was a great
opportunity for me, and it was just right for me–that was the main
factor. I’ve always wanted to play pro-ball, and this was a great opportunity. I
mean I had surgery, and I still got drafted in the fourth round, so it was a
great opportunity, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
5. Do you think you lose anything in not going to college?
I don’t really think about that because I look in the present.
I don’t really look into the future or the past, but I made the right decision–I
know for a fact, but definitely I’m going to miss the college experience and
education, which I really wanted, but like I said this was a great opportunity
for me, and I couldn’t have passed it up.
6. Besides your knee last year, did you have any other big challenges?
Playing for dad. Its tough playing for your father. I mean
he has coached there for 26 years, and it’s a great program. He has five state
championships and national chapionships, but its still hard because you know
you’re always get that youre only playing because your dad is the coach…You have your haters out there, and everyone is going to say something about it no matter what.
7. How did you deal with that? Did you kind of take it in stride, or just ignore it?
I mean my freshman year it kind of got to me, but by
the time I was a junior or senior, I knew they were all just… jealous, and now my
brother was going through the same thing his freshman year, and now hes a junior and hes one of the top
prospects in the nation, and people are still saying he’s not good, and that’s
how its going to be, and that’s the game of life.
8. What was your development like in high school? Did you become better or mature between certain years?
I’ve definitely matured–and everyone will–and the biggest
maturity is from that sophomore to junior year. [That’s] when you get a lot better because
it’s a big jump. My motto is try to get 1% better everyday, and if you just
stick to that it doesn’t matterwhat… Mentally get 1% better, hitting, fundamentally, being a better
teammate 1% better… You’re gonna get better everyday.
A lot of the times, the organization will change a player’s position early in their development. Where do you think you fit in best, position wise? How open are you to trying others?
That’s really not for me to decide. That’s the front office
and the coaches, that’s what their job is.
So are you open to trying others?
Yeah I mean [wherever] they want me at, that’s where I’m going to
be. Like I said its not my role to choose that.
What is the biggest difference between each position skill wise? Obviously, you have to have a stronger arm if you’re a third baseman, but what about mentally even?
Third base: that’s why they call it the hot corner. You get
balls that are hit really hard…third base
it’s a step to your left step, to your right. Shortstop, second base you’re gonna have
to go a little bit farther. It’s different, but you gotta learn and
develop into what they want to be.
Where do you like to bat in the lineup and why?
It doesn’t matter…like I said that’s what the staff decides. Wherever they put me that’s where im gonna go. I’m gonna try my best… I batted second or third in the Dominican League.
What is your opinion on small-ball? Do you think bunting runners over and suicide squeezes are effective, or do you think swinging away is?
There’s no doubt bunts are effective. I mean you gotta put it
this way: You get the bunt down… third baseman, pitcher, or first baseman has got to
catch the ball cleanly, he’s gotta pick it up out of his glove, and he’s gotta make
a perfect throw to first base while youre running, and that’s hard to do. So it’s
definitely effective, and I feel like our high school bunted a lot or sac’d
people over, and its definitely effective.
If you had to pitch against yourself, what weaknesses would you take advantage of?
I’d just throw a 95 mph fastball because my timing is off right now.
If your timing is off right now, how do you work to make that better?
It comes with time. Timing comes with time. It’s funny to say,
but you just see more pitches, and that’s how you get your timing back. I mean I
haven’t seen pitching since October, and I didn’t see a lot–I’ve seen three games
of pitching. Practically I haven’t seen pitches for a whole year because of my
The pitching definitely becomes more sophisticated at each level. What are the little things you notice that they do differently as you transition?
What I’ve seen is they spot up more… they wont leave a ball
over the plate because that’s a mistake, and if they do, they didn’t mean to. They’ll
paint corners… Other than that I faced good pitching all through high school and
summer circuit…Those were the best high school
pitchers in the nation. Those guys throw just as hard as these guys…they have curveballs, changeups… but these
guys [in the organization] are just more polished.
What do you think fans overlook or take for granted?
Some don’t understand that it’s everyday. It’s not like high
school where you play 3-4 times a week: it’s everyday or you have practice.
Tell us something interesting about yourself:
Both of my parents are coaches. My mom throws the best BP I’ve ever had in my whole life, out of anyone I’ve ever faced. It’s just right there,
she throws the best batting practice of any guy I’ve ever seen, of any woman I’ve
ever seen. She could throw to any team any day for however long.