The 2012 MLB First Player draft was headed by Houston Astros short stop phenom, Carlos Correia. Next came the Minnesota Twins who chose center fielder Byron Buxton, followed by the Seattle Mariners taking catcher Mike Zunino third overall. Correia is enjoying a splendid sophomore season after being named the American League Rookie of the Year last season. Buxton has yet to adjust to major league pitching, but has displayed flashes of brilliance in his speed and athleticism. Zunino has proven he could carry over his power against big league pitching, however his high strikeout rate and low batting average is concerning.
While on the topic of concerning numbers, the New York Mets were granted the overall twelfth pick and decided to go with a high school shortstop by the name of Gavin Cecchini. His older brother Garin was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2010, which might’ve helped boost his value. The main reasons behind the decision were due to Cecchini’s ability to make consistent hard contact at the plate while possessing gap power and above average speed on the base paths. The move appears to have made sense seeing as longtime short stop Jose Reyes was lost to free agency. Interestingly enough, if you flash forward four years later the Mets have brought Jose Reyes to revamp their lineup while Cecchini has raised questions on whether or not he could handle taking over short stop. It’s important to note that Cecchini’s defense is lacking as he’s managed to commit 26 errors in 57 games with the Mets Triple A team, the Las Vegas 51’s this season.
It isn’t all bad for the 22 year old Louisiana native who is currently hitting .333 with 4 home runs and 35 RBI while owning a .407 on base percentage. Although, the numbers do appear promising, Cecchini’s three stolen bases is another potential red flag as the Mets are in desperate need for speed on the base paths. If we take another look back at the 2012 MLB draft, we’ll find some potential options that the Mets could have drafted.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have themselves quite the short stop in 22 year old 2016 All Star Corey Seager. The Dodgers drafted him eighteenth overall and have reaped in the rewards over the past couple of seasons. Seager is making a case for the NL Rookie of the Year award as he is hitting .305 with 17 home runs and 41 RBI. Seager’s defense has been impressive as he’s only managed to commit 15 errors in a total of 104 major league games. Seager could have made Mets fans very happy as the long term answer to the void left at short stop after Reyes’ departure.
Even more interesting is the pitcher who was chosen with the pick following Seager. The St. Louis Cardinals were in possession of the nineteenth overall pick and chose Michael Wacha. The Mets decision not to go after a pitcher seems reasonable because of demand, but if we take a look at their starting rotation, there could be an argument that they should have gone after a pitcher. Especially when the 2012 Mets rotation consisted of Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner, Chris Young and a broken down Johan Santana.
Instead we got to watch Michael Wacha play a crucial role in the Cardinals reaching the world series a year following his signing. Wacha also picked up the NLCS MVP award along the way, out-dueling Clayton Kershaw two times in the process. Although Wacha has had his fair share of struggles since going 17-7 last season, his upside remains high as long as he remains healthy.
The jury remains out on Gavin Cecchini as he has yet to be called up to the big league squad, but with the overall success of Asdrubal Cabrera at short and Neil Walker at second, there appears to be little room for someone like Cecchini to rise through the ranks anytime soon. Only time will tell whether or not this first round pick for the Mets turns out to be a success or a flop.