Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Greatest Gavins: 2016 season review

2016 was a big year for professional baseball players named Gavin. Time for a recap.

In September, history was made when Gavin Glenn Christopher Joseph Cecchini became only the second player named Gavin to ever take the field in a major league game. After finishing third in the PCL in hitting (.325), the Mets rewarded their 22-year-old 2012 first draft pick with a taste of the bigs. Cecchini responded in limited action, picking up a couple doubles in 6 at-bats. While he came up as a shortstop, the Mets want to try him at second base in the Arizona Fall League to see if he can possibly transition to the other side of the diamond.

Of course MLB's original Gavin is Gavin Floyd. In 2016, he pitched in 28 games out of the pen for the eventual AL Wild Card Champ Blue Jays with slightly above-average results (106 ERA+), though his 2-4 record meant his career win-loss percentage slipped into the red (74-76). Just like in previous years, Floyd's season was cut short by injury, this time suffering a shoulder tear in June. Here's hoping he gets another chance to keep playing in 2017, though I'm sure the frequent injuries are frustrating for him and the teams he's played for over these past few years.

So not only was 2016 the first time in history that two different guys named Gavin played in the majors, but with both the Mets and Jays capturing Wild Card slots, it's the first time 2 different guys named Gavin had a chance at a World Series ring (even though neither saw postseason action). Incredible! Counting middle names, Scott Gavin Erickson of the '91 Twins is currently the only Gavin to make it to the game's biggest stage.

What about Gavins in the minors?

Gavin Lux was the Dodgers' first round pick back in June. In Rookie League action, he played well in the Arizona League, and then even better after getting promoted to the Pioneer League (.387 in 8 games). A shortstop with a great work ethic, Lux has looked solid in the field and at the plate, though power-wise has been overmatched, without a professional home run to his name yet. Though at only 18, he's still got some growing to do.

Black Finite Prizm 1/1 (a.k.a. Panini superfractor)
My boy Gavin LaValley put in another solid season in the Reds organization. Working his way up through A-ball, he set career highs for ding-dongs (11) and RBI (61), both landing him among the top-ten leaders for the Florida State League. The 21-year-old mainly plays first base, but gets some starts at the hot corner as well. Best of luck to him for next year, hopefully reaching AA.

Funny thing, baseball-reference also lists a very similarly-named Gavin Lavallee who played independent ball this year, putting up meh numbers for the Roswell Invaders.

2016 minor league card picked up in a recent Go Sports Cards order
Gavin Pittore endeared himself to me with an awesome TTM return and thank you note this past summer. He put in a very nice 2016 in A-ball, with a sparkling 2.24 ERA out of the pen for the Dodgers chain. (It seems LA is stockpiling Gavins! Smart move.) Here's hoping the undrafted signee who turned 23 last month can continue beating the odds and make his way up the ladder.

And now for the sad part of the season-end review: the Gavins who seem to have had to give up on their major league dreams in 2016. After an uneven 2015, Gavin Glanz was released by Colorado and didn't latch on with anybody in 2016. Also, Frendy Gavin seems to have been released by the Cardinals after pitching in the Dominican Summer League in 2013 and 2015 with less than stellar results. All the best to Mr. Glanz and Mr. Gavin for the next chapter in their lives.

But in happier news, in addition to high-profile draft pick Gavin Lux, there were three other new Gavins who made their professional debut in 2016!

Gavin Collins was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the 13th round of the 2016 draft from Mississippi State. He played in the NY-Penn League this season, mostly at third base.

More recent pickups from Go Sports Cards
Gavin Stupienski was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 12th round from UNC. He split time playing catcher and DHing. He even played a few games with my local MiLB team, the Hillsboro Hops. Hmm.. if he's back on the roster next season I should try for an IP auto. I've never personally gotten an in-person autogav!

Grant Gavin was drafted by Kansas City in the 29th round out of the University of Central Missouri. He impressed with a 2.01 ERA in Rookie League, good at finding the plate, with just 5 walks against 47 strikeouts.

Good luck to these up-and-coming Gavins and all Gavins everywhere!


  1. I love how you follow all the Gavins. Such a cool idea!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, it was kind of an "outcast" name for me as a kid. So it's cool that now there are a decent number of us out there today.

  2. Gavin Stupienski is my cousin. :D Great kid. I gotta see if he has any cards next year. Kinda doubt it, but you never know I suppose.

    1. Seriously? That's awesome! The thought did cross my mind, but figured there was no relation. You should hook me up with an autograph! :)

  3. Do you need Gavin Floyd's 2010 Topps 206 card?

    1. I think so, yes!
      Just sent you off a package the other day, Bo.

    2. Great, will send it out to you,

    3. The cards came today - thanks! I will get your Gavin out early next week.