Bo Bichette has had one of the best minor league season’s in baseball, as he continues to lead the Midwest League in hitting, raising his average to .400 after a 7-8 performance on Thursday.
The Lansing Lugnuts have had a solid season in the Single-A Midwest League, with an offence that’s been nearly unstoppable at times. The name most are familiar with is Vladimir Guerrero Jr, the son of former Montreal Expos, Vlad Sr. Bradley Jones also tore the cover off the ball, so much so that he’s already been promoted to High-A Dunedin.
For as good as those two have been, if the vote were up to me I would choose Bo Bichette as the top performer at that level thus far in 2017.
Son of Dante Bichette, Bo has been sensational at the plate this season, leading the Midwest League in batting average, and punishing pitchers on a nightly basis. He went 7-8 on Thursday evening, which raised his batting average to an even .400 on the season. He’s also hit 7 home runs, 44 RBI, and 26 doubles in just 218 at bats.
Back in February he didn’t even make Baseball America’s top 100 list, but entered when they gave their update in May, coming in at #93. That said, Aaron Judge ranked at #90 in February, so these things are hardly an exact science.
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By comparison in the Blue Jays’ system, Vlad Jr. began the year at #20 and was moved up to #16 in May, and deservedly so. The Canadian born 3rd baseman has been incredible in his own right, it’s just that Bichette has been every bit as good, and maybe better.
Bichette is still just 19 years old, just a year older than young Vladdy, and has shown capable skills with the glove as well. He’s played primarily at shortstop (39 games), but has also made 12 appearances at second base as well, a trend that may continue as he develops. There is hope that he could be a big league shortstop, but it’s very likely that his bat will be what brings him to “the show”.
His current slash line sits at .400/.468/.645 and his strikeout to walk ratio is 41:23, a respectable number, especially for a teenager. Perhaps the most impressive part of his season has been the way he’s used the entire field to his advantage. Behold the beautiful spray chart before, from MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson.
And this chart was put together before his 7-8 day with the bat on Thursday. Simply put, the boy can hit.
It’s a near certainty that he’ll moved up from #93 on the Baseball America prospect list when their next instalment comes out, as the 2016, 2nd round pick continues to open eyes around baseball.
The next logical step would be to promote him to High-A Dunedin to re-join Bradley Jones, and see how his development stacks up at the next level. I’m willing to bet that he’ll do just fine, and it won’t be that long before he’ll be knocking on the doorstep of the major league level.