Height/Weight: 6’1”, 205 lbs
Acquired: 4th rd 2009 (Columbia Basin (OR) CC)
Born: 6/22/90 (Tracy, CA)
2011 Rank: 12
Why Ranked Here: Ceciliani slips 18 spots from last year because he had an up and down full-season professional debut. He seemed to figure things out as the year wore on, however, and did enough to earn a promotion to advanced-A St. Lucie to start 2012.
Scouts were mixed a bit on Ceciliani, some liked him a lot, and some just a little. One compared him favorably to Matt den Dekker and pointed out that Ceciliani could do many of the same things, and was a few years younger. Others were disappointed in his shape early in the season. Others liked his swing, attitude and effort. The most optimistic put grades on him reflecting a big league regular, while others settled for a fourth-outfielder type.
On the plus side, Ceciliani, who’s above average as a runner, gets good jumps, and can play a nice centerfield. It is this ability to play centerfield that keeps him in the top 30. However, his arm is below average holding him to center and left. He worked to improve his base-stealing technique and acumen and stole bases at a 76% clip, going 25-for-33 for Savannah.
On the down side, Ceciliani hit just .259 and collected extra-base hits in 6.4% of his plate appearances. The question is simple: will he hit enough, and get on base enough, to play everyday?
2011: Ceciliani began 2011 with a strained hamstring. It was the second year in a row, that a highly-touted Gnat began the season with a strained hamstring following Jefry Marte in 2010. There’s no question that it hampered both players early in the season. In particular, Ceciliani after a handful of games in April, hit just .229/.325/.343 in May and finished the first half at .245/.335/.370. As the year wore on, he clearly played his way into better shape.
Ceciliani clearly became a more patient hitter during the 2011 season. He drew 18 walks in 48 games in the first half or one every 2.67 games. In the second half, he drew 34 walks in 61 games, or one every 1.8 games. All told, for the season, he upped his walk-rate from 2010’s 8% to nearly 11% in 2011. He did that while holding his strikeout percentage below 20%.
He finished on fire, batting .320/.421/.443 in August. In the 36 total games leading into game five of the SAL Championship series he hit .326/.428/.440 with 11 extra-base hits and 24 walks. Edit: His August run was no accident. His line drive percentage (admittedly a slightly flawed stat), which had been 10.6% in May, and near 15% in June and July, climbed all the way to 19.8% in August/September.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Low-average everyday CF, with plenty of walks to support his offensive value.
Debbie Downer Says: Jesus Feliciano called. He’ll see you in the International League
Projected 2012 Start: St. Lucie
MLB Arrival: 2015
Fun Facts: 1. Ceciliani did not have a single sacrifice fly in 2011. 2. His brother is a bull-rider.