Garin Cecchini makes pro debut in left field for Pawtucket

June 22, 2014 - 7:30 am
Mookie Betts isn't the only one gaining exposure to new positions in Triple-A. Garin Cecchini is slated to play left field for the PawSox on Sunday, the first time in his pro career that he's played a position other than third base. The 23-year-old has been taking flyballs in left field in recent weeks, though he has played the position before. In the summer of 2009, Cecchini played for a loaded Team USA Under-18 team that featured prospects such as Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, among others. Most of the position players on the team were shortstops in their high school programs, requiring players to move all over the field. Cecchini moved to left field for a team that won a gold medal. "I feel like I'm going to be a third baseman for a long time. That's where I want to be. At the same time, if John Farrell comes up to me, Brian Butterfield, and says, 'Listen, we think you can get to the big leagues right now if you play wherever,' I'm going. All I want to do is get there and help this team win," Cecchini said earlier this spring. "That's what I did in Team USA. They said, 'You're not going to play shortstop; Manny Machado is there. You're not going to play third base; Nick Castellanos and Sean Coyle are there.' I said, 'Put me anywhere you think I can play, because I'm going to hit.' They put me in left field. I was perfectly fine there. I played right alongside Bryce Harper. It was the time of my life. We won a Gold Medal. "Everything is going to work out," Cecchini added. "I'm going to be fine." In 63 games in Triple-A, Cecchini is hitting .265 with a .346 OBP and .330 slugging mark. With Will Middlebrooks rehabbing in Pawtucket, Cecchini's time at third has been diminished, giving some added impetus to the introduction of versatility to his work in Pawtucket.