BOSTON — Garin Cecchini came off the field, following batting practice at Fenway Park. A reporter approached. A photographer snapped a picture. Someone else walked over, notebook in hand.

Advice to Garin: get used to it.

Cecchini, 22, is the NEXT ONE, the prospect that Red Sox Nation will be looking at, with dreams of stardom in Fenway. Xander Bogaerts has gone through it. Same with Jackie Bradley Jr.

“I’ve noticed a lot more media coverage,” Cecchini said. “I try to live day by day, not look too much into the future. When you do that, you get yourself in trouble.”

Cecchini went 0-for-2 with two walks Saturday. One of his outs was a line drive to right field, caught just above the grass by a diving Destin Hood.

He worked an eight-pitch walk in the first inning, and then took a pass on four pitches in the seventh. After the second walk, Cecchini stole second, and took the next two bases on wild pitches for Portland’s final run.

One can picture Cecchini creating such excitement at Fenway again — in a Boston uniform.
Cecchini came to the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, signing for $1.3-million. It is always a bit of a gamble drafting a high school player, especially one who missed his senior season because of a knee injury.

But Cecchini is developing into a major leaguer. He was batting .350 in advanced Class A Salem with a 1.016 OPS (combined on-base and slugging averages), until his promotion on June 21 to the Double-A Sea Dogs.

He has continued to amaze, batting .331 with a .892. His combined .343 average leads all Red Sox full-season minor leaguers. Bogaerts is next at .297.

“The most impressive thing about Garin is the consistency of his at-bats,” Boston director of player development Ben Crockett said. “That’s continued in Portland. He doesn’t expand the (strike) zone and takes good, quality swings.”

Cecchini works counts, walks (20), and often gets his pitch to hit.

“First of all, he has a good swing,” Sea Dogs hitting coach Rich Gedman said. “He stays on the ball. Very rarely does he use high effort to get to the ball. Short, compact swing. Gives him the ability to hit off-speed, as well as adapt to anything new.

“He’ll go through his struggles like anyone else. But he’s the type of guy who will come out of it sooner. He’s a confident kid. He’s got a pretty good make-up.”

Yeah, there’s something about that make-up. You saw it in Bradley and Bogaerts, And now Cecchini.

“He’s a really confident and energetic kid,” Crockett said. “He brings so much energy to the ballpark every day.

“Getting promoted to Double-A and getting slotted right into the middle of the lineup is not something we often do with guys, but we have a lot of confidence in Garin’s approach and his make-up – his ability to handle that.”

Cecchini smiles through it all.

“It’s gone as smooth as it can go,” he said “I’ve had to make adjustments obviously. It’s been good, though. It’s been a blast.”

• • •

The Sea Dogs had to wake up by 5:30 a.m. Saturday to catch their bus heading down at Fenway — and after a Friday night game in Portland.

“It was much easier to get up, knowing you were coming to Fenway Park,” center fielder Shannon Wilkerson said. “It’s a great experience.”

The pleasure began during batting practice

“BP was exciting for everyone,” Wilkerson said. “You take a couple of your BP swings to try to get it over the monster … Then you have to go back to your approach.”

And how did Wilkerson do? He smiled.

“I think I got two or three out,” Wilkerson said.

• • •

Two pitchers who began the season in Portland won’t get to Fenway until Tuesday, when the Red Sox return to Boston. Both Brandon Workman and Drake Britton are contributing to the big-league team.

Through Friday, Workman has made two spot starts, giving up only four runs over 12 1/3 innings.

Britton has made four appearances, throwing four scoreless innings of relief, allowing only two hits and a walk.

“Certainly it’s satisfying from the player development side of things,” Crockett said. “and all the coaches who have worked with them. Both those guys started in Salem last year. “

• • •

Anthony Ranaudo did not pitch at Fenway Park on Saturday and, if you believe the trade rumors, you wonder if he ever will.

Ranaudo is putting up some of the best numbers (8-3, 2.80 ERA) in the Red Sox organization. But the Red Sox are blessed with an abundance of pitching prospects. There is speculation that Boston might use a high-end prospect like Ranaudo in a trade-deadline deal to bolster this year’s club.

In today’s online media, including twitter accounts like @mlbtraderumors, the speculation can grow.

“Unfortunately, I follow them on Twitter so I see (the rumors) come up,” Ranaudo said. “I try not to read into it. Until I get a phone call about something, I’m in the Boston Red Sox organization. I’m happy to be here, and I’m trying to get up to Boston to play for the big league team.”

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