SECAUCUS, N.J. - A few days prior to the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, high school shortstop Gavin Cecchini attended a pre-Draft workout in New York City. There, he met David Wright, who spoke with Cecchini for about 15 minutes. Before parting, Wright told Cecchini that he hoped the two would one day become teammates.
Perhaps they will.
One year after taking high school outfielder Brandon Nimmo with the 13th overall pick, the Mets selected Cecchini with the 12th overall pick Monday, stocking their farm system with another premium high school bat.
"I'm speechless right now," Cecchini told MLB Network from Draft headquarters in Secaucus, N.J., where he was one of five amateur players in attendance. "This is a dream come true, it really is."
Cecchini, 18, hit .532 last year with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs in 36 games for Barbe (La.) High School. The brother of Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini, he was named co-MVP of the Under Armour All-America game, and played for Team USA's under-18 gold medal team in the Junior Pan Am Championships.
After focusing primarily on college pitching during Omar Minaya's run as general manager, the Mets made one of the boldest picks in the Draft last year by selecting Nimmo, a raw but talented outfielder whose Wyoming high school did not even offer a baseball program.
Though the Mets have taken a fair bit of criticism for their farm system in recent years, they have drafted and developed numerous big league players, including Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, Jon Niese and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. In addition, 2010 top pick Matt Harvey has been thriving at Triple-A, and is in line to make his Major League debut before the end of the season.
Cecchini's brother, Garin, is a third baseman in the Red Sox's system who ranks among Boston's top prospects. After sitting out most of last season with a fractured wrist, the elder Cecchini has jumped out to a .306 start with a .394 on-base percentage in 50 games for Class A Greenville.
"He just tells me that it's an everyday grind," Cecchini said of Garin's experience in professional baseball. "But he knows that I love the game, and he loves the game, too. It's awesome. To be able to play a game and get paid to do it, there's nothing better than that."