As Gavin Cecchini begins his climb through the Mets' minor-league ranks, he has a clear path to follow. Cecchini, the Mets' first-round pick in the 2012 draft, has an older brother, Garin, who is rising through the Red Sox farm system.
"He's my role model," Gavin said of his brother. "I just try to emulate everything that he does well."
Garin, a 22-year-old third baseman, was promoted to the Red Sox's Double-A affiliate in Portland, Maine, on Thursday after posting a .350 batting average with an incredible .469 on-base percentage for Class A Salem. Gavin, a 19-year-old shortstop, began the first full season of his professional career with the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones last week armed with lessons from his brother.
"It definitely gives me the edge over a lot of other players because he tells me what it's like and what to expect," Gavin said. "I learn from the mistakes that he's made and put the parts of the game that he does well into my game."
The brothers live together and are workout partners during the offseason. They remain in frequent contact during the season and there isn't a hint of the sibling rivalry that existed during their childhood.
"We got into a lot of fights, but we're past that," Gavin said. "We're here to make each other better and we want the best for each other. I couldn't be more proud of him."
Growing up in Lake Charles, La., the brothers were destined to play baseball. Their father, Glenn, has been the head coach of the Barbe High baseball team for 27 years with his wife, Raissa, serving as an assistant for 17 years.
The brothers overlapped for two years at Barbe High, with Garin playing shortstop and Gavin at second base. Both went directly from high school to the pros. Garin was selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2010 draft and Gavin received a $2.3-million signing bonus from the Mets as the 12th overall pick last year.
"We hoped it would [happen]," Raissa said. "You want it to happen because you know your kids have worked so hard to get to where they are. Being a baseball family, we knew they had a chance."
Baseball has been a staple in the Cecchini family, and they don't expect that to change for a long time.
"I love playing every day," said Gavin, who is 3-for-14 in four games this season. "A lot of people say, 'This is really tiring and I just can't wait for the offseason.' I love baseball. This is what I'm here to do and this is what I love to do. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else besides here at MCU Park playing tonight."