The New York Mets selected shortstop Gavin Cecchini from Barbe High School, La., with the 12th pick of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
Cecchini, 18, who bats and throws righthanded, hit .413 with seven home runs, 32 RBI and 31 stolen bases to help Barbe to the Class 5A state title this season. Cecchini played for his father, Glenn, at Barbe. The 6-0, 175-pound native of Lake Charles, LA, was named Mr. Baseball in Louisiana by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Cecchini led the USA Baseball 18U National Team to the gold medal at the Pan American Championship in Colombia last fall. He hit .500 with 17 RBI in 15 games during the tournament.
As a junior, Cecchini was named Gatorade State Player of the Year and also won the Most Valuable Player award for the American squad at the 2011 Under Armour All-American Game last summer. Brandon Nimmo, the Mets’ first-round pick last season, was the MVP for the American team at the 2010 game.
Cecchini played in the 2006 Little League World Series, starting the game on the mound for South Lake Charles in their only win of the tournament.
Cecchini, who committed to the University of Mississippi, is the fourth position player taken in the first round by the Mets since 2008. He joins first baseman Ike Davis (2008), infielder Reese Havens (2008) and Nimmo (2011).
Cecchini’s brother, Garin, was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by Boston and is currently playing for Greenville (A) of the South Atlantic League.
Barbe had two other players drafted along with Garin in 2010 (Hommy Rosado, Colorado, 11th round; Kevin Berard, 22nd round, Milwaukee). Gavin is the high school’s first first-round pick since 1996, when Toronto took infielder Joe Lawrence 16th overall.