The Mets have announced that they have designated former first-round pick Gavin Cecchini for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for the newly acquired Justin Wilson. With the recent signing of the left-handed reliever, the Mets found themselves with a roster crunch, and Cecchini wound up being the victim of it. While it remains to be seen if the 25-year-old shortstop will be claimed by any other teams when he is exposed to waivers, it is possible that his Mets career will come to a disappointing end after years of being unable to reach the potential the team saw when they drafted him.
Cecchini was selected out of Barbe High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft; any Mets fans who wish to engage in some hindsight-aided hand-wringing will note that he was drafted six picks ahead of fellow shortstop and future All-Star Corey Seager. Cecchini proceeded to spend the next few years climbing his way through the Mets’ minor league system—eventually reaching 87th on MLB.com’s pre-2016 top prospects list—before making his MLB debut with the team in September 2016. Yet he failed to impress in his limited major league action in 2016 and 2017, as he put up a paltry 53 wRC+ in 89 at-bats with the team. After a lost 2018 in which he did not make an appearance with the big league team and was limited to just 31 minor league games due to injury, Brodie Van Wagenen and company have decided that he was expendable.
Cecchini’s designation could also mean that the number of former general manager Sandy Alderson’s first-round selections who remain in the organization could shrink even further. While Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto are two of the better players on the Mets’ current roster, gone are the likes of Michael Fulmer, Kevin Plawecki, and Justin Dunn. Dominic Smith has had a similarly uninspiring start to his major league career, and it is too soon to make any definitive judgments on Anthony Kay and David Peterson. While this group of players has achieved varying levels of success, Cecchini has arguably been the most underwhelming of them all, and it is reasonable to assume that Alderson would make a different selection if he could do the 12th pick in the 2012 draft over again.