Jays From the Couch continues our Toronto Blue Jays 2017 Top Prospects List with #7, Shortstop, Bo Bichette.
It’s that time of year again! We’re counting down our Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects for 2017. We’ve selected our Top 15 and will be profiling each one. You are bound to find many of these lists in your travels, which makes for great conversation. The basis for rankings varies even more than the number of lists you’ll find. Some prefer to look at how close to “big league ready” a prospect is, while others look at “stuff” or “tools”.
To construct our list, we have scoured over scouting reports, numbers and a lot more to finalize our 2017 Top Prospects list. Feel free to weigh in on each selection in the comment section! It’s part of the fun!
Check out the rest of our 2017 Top Prospects, including Honorable Mentions HERE
Name: Bo Bichette
Born: March 5, 1998
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016. Toronto Blue Jays
Weight: 200 lbs
With the signing of Bo during the June entry draft the Blue Jays were the latest to add part of the Bichette bloodlines to their organization. As with his father, Dante, and brother Dante Jr, the youngest Bichette is known for his somewhat unconventional, but yet, powerful bat. A feature he showed plenty of during his 22 games in the Gulf Coast League in 2016, with 15 extra-base hits in only 82 at-bats.
Many scouts worry his swing style may cause him problems when he faces better pitching as he climbs the levels of professional baseball. This is a legitimate concern as the many moving parts in his swing could become a hindrance when facing the preponderance of power pitching baseball has become known for in recent years. However, his ability to make adjustments, along with his natural hand and bat speed should still see him become an above average hitter, with plus power.
Certainly one aspect of his game to keep an eye on going forward will be his defensive position. While he does possess an above-average arm, his range is viewed as average, which may see him better suited for a non-premium position. While the Blue Jays plan to play him at shortstop until he proves he is no longer able, some reports have Bichette most likely changing positions in the future. With third, second and left field all being mentioned as potential options.
MLB Pipeline: 2017 ranking, #12. Due do being a 2016 draft pick, Bichette, wasn’t previously ranked.
Baseball America: 2017 ranking, #8. For the same reasons as above, Bichette, was not previously ranked.
Outlook for 2017:
The Florida native looks to be headed to Lansing with the Lugnuts (A) for the 2017 season. With him not turning 19 until March, Bichette, will be facing competition consistently two-plus years older than himself. This could be a test for him, one hopefully he will be pass with flying colors.
Another aspect will be the pitcher friendly Cooley Law School Stadium. Bichette, has the sort of power where this may not be much of a factor, however, it may be prudent to ignore the homerun totals. Instead electing to look at his extra-base hits, and strikeout totals.
It should also be noted that 2017 will be the young Florida native’s first full-season of professional baseball. While he has played predominately a High School & travel ball schedule, they are vastly different from a 140-game professional season. He’s young and should handle the physical demands easily, however, the grind of a 140 game season will test his mental approach.
MLB Pipeline had an estimated date of arrival for the youngest Bichette pegged at 2020. With continued maturation and development of his hitting approach 2020 could be a realistic goal.
We here at JFtC were fortunate enough to be joined by Bichette on the Jays Nest Podcast this past offseason. If you haven’t had the opportunity to tune in, we invite you to check it out below.
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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.