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Cecchini signs, donates chunk of bonus to Jimmy Fund

08.16.10 at 6:21 pm ET

Garin Cecchini has told WEEI.com that he will be signing with the Red Sox for $1.31 million, a step down from his initial signing bonus demands that scared other teams away, but still a sizable investment. A fourth-round pick, Cecchini was considered a top player in the draft before tearing his ACL in March. Cecchini played shortstop in high school but is expected to be a third baseman in the Red Sox organization.

Cecchini is considered a toolsy infielder with what Garye LaFevers, his Team USA coach calls a “selectively aggressive” approach at the plate. The 19-year-old is also considered to be capable of having an impact on the basepaths, as he’s run a 6.73 60-yard dash and stole 55 bases as a high school junior at Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La.

Upon reaching the agreement with the Red Sox, Cecchini decided to donate $20,000 to the Jimmy Fund.

“I’ve been blessed and need to give back,” Cecchini told WEEI.com in a text message Monday.

A dedicated student with educational goals and hopes of becoming a lawyer after college, Cecchini was verbally committed to LSU but was willing to entertain going pro if he received a sizable offer. As a result, he wrote to each team asking them to bypass him in the draft unless they felt they could meet his contractual demands, which at the time consisted of a $1.75 million signing bonus.

Cecchini recently was in town to take a physical with the Red Sox, but flew in and out without getting a deal done. Things progressed in negotiations, however, to the point where Cecchini expressed confidence earlier Monday that an agreement could be reached.

One knock on Cecchini is his injury history, which began when he first saw Dr. James Andrews as a youngster. A quarterback, Cecchini required rotator cuff surgery when he was 12. He quit football to focus on baseball and playing for one of Louisiana’s most popular coaches — his father.

‘€œIt’€™s been a way of life,’€ Glenn Cecchini told WEEI.com earlier in the summer. ‘€œWhen they were old enough — I’€™m talking about when they could walk — we would bring them to the field because both of us were coaching. They would just hang out and we’€™d have people drop them off from school at the baseball field. They would do their homework at the field.’€

The lefty hitting Cecchini outshone first overall pick Bryce Harper for Team USA in an under-18 tournament last summer. In the eight-game tournament that yielded a gold medal for Team USA, Cecchini hit .333 with an impressive .529 OBP and .708 slugging mark while hitting sixth and seventh and playing left field. By comparison, Harper hit .294 with a .375 OBP.

With Cecchini in the fold, 39th overall pick Anthony Ranaudo remains the biggest piece of the Red Sox 2010 draft haul to still be unsigned. The team has until midnight to agree with the right-hander before they lose his rights and he returns to LSU as a draft-elgible senior.

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