Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette may not have been as heralded as the organization’s other much-hyped prospect with a big-leaguer dad, but in his first week as a major-league player, the 21-year-old has shown himself to be just as worthy of attention. Toronto’s new shortstop has yet to go hitless in his first seven games, batting .406 and—in a bit of pleasant weirdness—notching a double in each of his last five games.
Bichette led off Sunday’s game with a double, and in the seventh, he muscled his second career homer just over the fence in a 6-5 loss against Baltimore. It was part of a back-to-back dinger party with yet another famous son in 24-year-old Blue Jays infielder Cavan Biggio, son of Craig.
More powerful was Bichette’s first major-league tater on Wednesday—an offspeed meatball that he hit flush to center field, 436 feet away.
The relatively undersized rookie packs some violent power in his explosive swing, and in his first 32 at-bats he’s displayed an uncontainable desire to destroy the baseball that’s put his slugging percentage at .750.
“I just try to go up there and hit the ball as hard as I can,” Bichette said about his aggressive approach in 2018. Wise strategy.
It’s about time we’re seeing Bo Bichette unload on major-league pitching—or whatever you call the Royals and Orioles—because the kid was clearly getting impatient waiting around down Buffalo. While Vladito had a three-month head start in the majors and shot off fireworks during the Home Run Derby, Bichette missed about six weeks this year in Triple-A with a broken hand and took a bit longer to assert his readiness.
But regardless of any setback Bichette’s faced, the game the Blue Jays have played with their prospects is obvious service-time manipulation. A couple of weeks ago, it sounded like it was getting on Bichette’s nerves:
“Yeah, I’ve done everything they asked me to do,” Bichette said in an interview with Sportsnet. “I’ve performed, I’ve put up numbers. I’ve gotten better offensively, defensively, base-running, as an athlete, as a teammate. Everything they’ve asked me to do, I’ve done for the past three years.
“So, if I’m not ready in their mind, there’s something new that they need to tell me I need to get better at.”
It’s representative of Toronto’s frustrating and boring way of doing business that Bichette is only getting a shot because the team’s best infielder, 33-year-old Eric Sogard, was shipped off at the trade deadline. Right now, Bichette’s plugging a leak more than he is adding anything more to an already-bad team. But even if he’s stuck with a club that currently has a lower winning percentage than his batting average, it’s a delight to see all three of the Blue Jays’ Famous Sons in the bigs at the same time. Now all the trio needs is a good nickname.