Gavin Cecchini bulks up and other Spring Training news

Spring training is full of headlines. Headlines like: “Dominic Smith shows up slim and trim”, “Yoenis Cespedes adopts a yoga routine” and “Mets hope new witch doctor will help prevent injuries.” One such headline, this spring, has been about Gavin Cecchini bulking up prior to arriving to camp.

To rehash what we already know Cecchini is a disappointing prospect who has fallen out of favor with fans because of not looking like the “Top Pick” (12th overall) he was. Cecchini was drafted in the first round and never had a superstar pedigree. Instead, he was viewed as a “safe” pick who would eventually become a major league regular. Ignoring that the Mets missed out on far better players who were drafted later, Cecchini’s projection has become that of a bench player with even his infield defense coming into question.

It makes sense that he would try something new coming in this spring. He’s not going to unseat Amed Rosario from shortstop and it’s hard to see him unseating Todd Frazier, Asdrubal Cabrera or even Wilmer Flores from their roles. Not unless he intrinsically changes what he offers the team.

This Spring Training, he’s done that. In 11 at bats he’s managed 5 hits (1 double and 2 home runs) and he’s even walked twice and stolen a base. With T.J. Rivera starting the season on the shelf it seems like Cecchini is certainly making his case to join Jose Reyes and Flores on the major league bench but it remains to be seen if there will be room.

Other Minor League Standouts:

Luis Guillorme off to a solid start – It’s hard to believe in that home run but he’s getting on base and if he can do that at the major league level his defense will make him a regular.

Patrick Mazeika is doing what he does – He hits the ball and gets on base. We’d like more power and we’d like more walks but we’ll take a consistent high batting average if he can play passably as a catcher.

Chris Flexen ready to prove things – After being thrust into the majors there was concern that Flexen’s confidence might get shaken but things seem okay thus far.

P.J. Conlon has bounced back – He’s now appeared in three games and has pretty healthy peripherals to show for it.

Corey Oswalt’s ERA is misleading – Sure, he has an ERA over 4.00 but his WHIP is under 1.00 so take it with a grain of salt.

Jacob Rhame is doing something right – He’s struck out 6 in 4.0 innings and he’s walked none. The walks are what should be most exciting here.

20 comments for “Gavin Cecchini bulks up and other Spring Training news

  1. March 5, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Cecchini or Rivera could replace Flores on the roster for a fraction of the cost. Flores has more power than either and right now is a better MLB option. But Flores makes $3.4 million and will be arbitration-eligible again next year. Cecchini needs to go to Vegas and hit for an entire year and make the decision to cut ties with Flores easier.

    • Pete In Iowa
      March 5, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Why they haven’t yet traded Flores to an AL team is puzzling to me. It doesn’t seem like anything he will do this season will increase the value he has right now as a right handed DH.
      He’s horrible anywhere he’s placed on the field. The sooner they can package him in a deal the better.

      • Name
        March 5, 2018 at 7:06 pm

        Are you honestly puzzled why no team has traded for him? Have you been paying attention to the 1b/DH market these past 2 years?

        The HR leader from 2016 can’t get a guaranteed job, no one even wants to give a shot to Napoli, Duda will only be making a fraction more than Flores.

    • Mike Walczak
      March 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Wow – I was thinking the same thing. I like Flores a lot, but not as a player. He is one dimensional and slow footed.

    • Geoffrey T
      March 8, 2018 at 5:38 am

      Cut ties with Flores? Why? He’s improved significantly over the past two years and at 26, he’s only just now entering his prime. They should be handing him a starting job and be preparing to offer him an extension at the end of the season. His productivity is a bargain at $3.4 million, and the notion that Cecchini could come anywhere near being a replacement for Flores is very, very hard to imagine.
      You might have a better case for Rivera. Except Rivera is already 29, and while I like what we’ve seen out of him, he hasn’t played enough for us to know if he can sustain it. He also hasn’t shown the power that would allow him to play 1st base, something Flores has demonstrated.

      • March 8, 2018 at 8:10 am

        Because he’s going to make 10X more money than his replacement, whoever that might be, while not providing 10X the value.

        • Geoffrey T
          March 9, 2018 at 3:39 am

          You say “10X more money” as if he will be getting a fortune that will break the club’s back. He’ll be making a few million dollars. Its simply not a big enough number to justify ditching his bat. A bat which, given his improvements over the past two seasons and his age could be on the verge of exploding.
          And can you get any production out of his replacements? TJ Rivera will be 30 next year nas hasn’t been around long enough to know if his early success is sustainable. Whether or nto Guillorme will be able to produce with the bat in 2019 is just a guess right now.

          Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

          • March 9, 2018 at 8:10 am

            When Mike Moustakas signs for $6.5 million, do you really want to pay Wilmer Flores $6 million when he can’t claim a starting position because his defense is so bad? The Mets are already overpaying Juan Lagares to be a reserve, they don’t need to compound the situation by doing the same thing with Flores.

            • Geoffrey T
              March 9, 2018 at 4:16 pm

              Editor’s Note – This post deleted for violating our Comment Policy. All future posts will go to moderation.

      • Eraff
        March 8, 2018 at 9:11 am

        Hand Flo him a Position??? Tell me …which position can he play!!!??? His next Arbitration/tender step will price him into Free Agency.

        He needs to hit like a Gorilla to be a FT player…and he’s an nice hitter–he’s not a Gorilla. Otherwise, the Bench PLatoon Guys are going to be able to field several positions—guys like Josh Harrison.

        • David Groveman
          March 8, 2018 at 9:17 am

          I agree,

          I like Flores but the price is wrong. The Mets can get his production for $3 Million or less, with better defense.

        • Geoffrey T
          March 9, 2018 at 3:43 am

          He can play 1st. Especially with Smith being hurt and AGon showing us less than nothing with the bat right now. And despite all the whining, his 2B defense is not as bad as its made out to be. He doesn’t need to hit like a gorilla to play those positions. But, given his age and his improvements over the past two seasons, he just might be about to start hitting like one.

  2. Eraff
    March 5, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Flores at $3.4 Million?: It will be interesting to see how many ab’s he gets and where he’s deployed defensively. They seem to have covered every single place that would have presented a clear track to at bats for Wilmer, including having Reyes as the backup across the Infield. Wilmer is looking like a PH, and that’s not much for a young guy.

    The fact that you’ve heard about Wilmer taking some outfield Fungoes is even more bewildering.

    • John Fox
      March 5, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      I see Flores as platooning at first base with Adrian Gonzalez.

      • Geoffrey T
        March 8, 2018 at 5:40 am

        And winning the starting job at some point.

  3. Eraff
    March 5, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I don’t believe Flores has Much Trade Value…if any. If he was a LH DH type there might be a Market—but a Righty with a Big Split differential, lead Shoes and Glove is pretty much not attractive.

    • Mike Walczak
      March 5, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      OK, here are the finals for the NY Mets 100 yard dash.

      Bartolo Colon
      Rusty Staub
      Jerry Grote
      Wilmer Flores

      Flores probably wouldn’t win.

      • David Groveman
        March 6, 2018 at 8:11 am

        You need to add Olerud to that race.

    • Name
      March 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      “If he was a LH DH type there might be a Market”

      If that were true, guys like Chris Carter or Adam Lind would be getting more than minor league deals. Doesn’t matter if you’re a righty or lefty, if you’re a 1b/dh you most likely will generate little to no interest.

  4. Eraff
    March 6, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Name–Carter is a RH/RH, just like Flo….Lind will get a Minor League with a Player Bail Out Option

    I believe teams are willing to pay for Final Pieces and Certerpieces—Functional Day to Day guys are being measured against Cheaper and Available young players. PLatoon Guys are especially subject to being a Fit for a specific job. The big emphasis will be that most teams will have a functional 3-4 man bench (with the backup catcher as a dead spot in addition to that).

    The12 pitching man staff is killing the “Back Up/Platoon Position Market”. Hence, the Multi Position Guy….maybe 2-3 Multi Position Guys.

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