Gavin Cecchini made his major league debut as a September call-up in 2016, and he seemed poised to take on a larger role in 2017 should the opportunity arise. He came into the season ranked among the top 10 prospects in the Mets’ system after putting up solid offensive numbers in Triple-A in 2016.
But the former first-round pick’s numbers significantly dropped off with the 51s during the first half of 2017. He was hitting just .249/.313/.349 when he got his first call-up this season. After Neil Walker was placed on the disabled with a hamstring injury, Cecchini got called up in mid-June and got a hit in every game he played in against the Dodgers. He even blasted his first major league home run off the three-time Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw in that series.
The success was short lived and it would be well after the trade deadline before he saw any more playing time in the major leagues. After Neil Walker was traded away to the Brewers, and Jose Reyes landed on the DL with a rib injury, Cecchini got a second chance with the big league club. He was recalled on August 17 but only had 21 at bats that month. In a year where home runs were significantly on the rise, his lack of power was certainly alarming. He did not have an extra base hit in August and just two in September. He finished the year hitting just .208/.256/.273 and just the one home run with the Mets, and in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League he hit a paltry .267/.329/.380 with six home runs in 110 at bats.
Terry Collins leaned heavily on Jose Reyes coming down the stretch so it is hard to gauge what exactly Cecchini can bring to the team next season. He was never known for his defense and his offense regressed significantly. The Mets certainly have other options in the infield heading into next season even if Jose Reyes does not return. Asdrubal Cabrera is returning and both T.J. Rivera and Wilmer Flores have proven to be offensively capable at the big league level. Cecchini will most likely find himself again in Triple-A in 2018 and will need to show remarkable improvement if he is to become part of the Mets’ future plans.