Garin Cecchini is a Freak

There is a fairly common view that its easy to steal bases in low A minor league baseball. That if they have intelligence and some effort, pretty much anybodies grandmother can steal bases in low A.

With that in mind, there is also a common opinion among scouts and experts that Garin Cecchini's stolen base totals last year shouldn't be taken seriously. Because scouts say he is only between an average and good athlete with average to good speed. And anybody can steal effectively in low A anyway.

The problem with both theories is that they ignore history and just how special Garin Cecchini season was. Garin Cecchini stole 51-57 bases for a stolen base differential of +45 steals. In the last 30 years in low A only 13 other players had even a +40 differential and ended up starting at least 1 season in the majors. Below is that list with Cecchini added...

player in low MLB season

Vince Coleman----145-31---114---------107-14----93

Everth Cabrera---73-16----57----------44-4------40

John Cangelosi---87-35----52----------50-17-----33

Michael Bourn----58-6-----52----------61-12-----49

Rafael Furcal------73-22----51----------46-10-----36

Juan Pierre--------66-19----47----------68-18-----50

Carl Crawford-----55-9-----46----------58-9------49

Garin Cecchini-----51-6-----45----------????------??

Andruw Jones-----56-11----45----------27-4------23

Willy Taveras------54-12----42----------68-7------61

Chad Curtis--------64-22----42----------48-24-----24

Delino DeShields--59-18----41----------55-14-----41

Johnny Damon-----59-18----41----------46-9------37

Carlos Gómez------64-24----40----------37-6------31

First, to be that effective a base stealer in low it sure seems to take some athletic ability. Second, every player that was +40 ended up being a good base stealer at the major league level. Everybody!

The worst base stealer ended up being Andruw Jones. He still had a 27-4 season in the majors. He had 4-20 steal seasons. And a career of 152-59. Those are all performances worth noting for a future career from a prospect.

Carlos Gomez and Everth Cabrera are the next lowest on the list with 37 and 44 steal seasons. Both are young and likely to expand on their best seasons. After them we are up to 46+ steal seasons. Pretty impressive base stealing list if you ask me. Other then Chad Curtis, the steal efficiency is off the charts too. These are really good MLB base stealers......And then we have Garin Cecchini. Hmmm.

Whats interesting is that Cecchini didn't have that great an opportunity to steal bases last season either. He missed 21 games. If he doesn't miss those games, he could have ended up in the top 3 on that list. He was also second on that list in extra base hits for his low A season. Hard to steal bases when you are not on 1st base. Yet he did. He also had a similar steal rate in 2011 of 44-7-37 if prorated to the 118 games he played this year. He isn't a complete 1 year wonder.

Yet we should ignore all these facts because scouts don't think he is fast? I have looked and could not find any times on the internet for Garin Cecchini. Whether 60 times or home to first times. Is it possible Cecchini is faster then people think? When watching him run on film, he seems to have a long stride, but gets into that stride very fast. Kind of like how Jerry Rice ran. Also a big, tall, white 3rd basemen is going to always have perception problems when it comes to speed. I wonder if those 4 things are messing with some scouts heads.

Somebody is going to have to explain why Garin Cecchini is the lone exception to the rule from those A ball stats. If its so easy to steal bases that effectively with guile and grist, why is he the only non athlete on that list if he makes the big leagues and starts? Let alone that high on the list inspite of his circumstances.

Which gets me to my final point. He is a freakin 3rd basemen for goodness sakes. And based on his base stealing record, a freakish one at that. In the last 3 seasons, no 3rd basemen in the big leagues has even a 20 steal season. I think I can safely predict he will steal that many bases in his sleep if he gets to the bigs. And that would make him a special base stealer and make his base stealing worth noting. Not something to be ignored. I predict a Bobby Abreu or Derek Jeter on the bases which would be extremely impressive and worth pointing out.

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