Blue Jays’ Bichette won’t be left behind by Vlad Jr.

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Bo Bichette
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Bo Bichette /

When you have a phenom like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in your minor league system, it’s easy for others to be overshadowed. Bo Bichette won’t allow it.

A quick trivia question for you: Who is the first teenager since 1963 to lead a Minor League in batting? If you guessed Bo Bichette, you have either really been paying attention, or you saw the same tweet I did from yesterday.

The son of former MLB slugger, Dante Bichette, Bo has been one of the fasted rising prospects in baseball this year, at just the tender age of 19 years old. He started the season in Low A with the Lansing Lugnuts, hit nearing .400 during his time there, and then proceeded to rake his way through the High A pitchers with the Dunedin Blue Jays.

The middle infielder hit an impressive .362/.423/.565 with 14 home runs, 74 RBI, 41 doubles and 22 stolen bases in 29 attempts across both levels. This was done in just 110 games and 448 at bats as well, so the power numbers are even more impressive.

More from Jays Journal

What’s somewhat odd for Bichette, is that despite his ridiculously impressive season, he’s still not the most talked about prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays system. In fact, when ESPN released their year end prospect rankings, Vladimir Guerrero was at the top of the list. Guerrero, who played the entire season along side Bichette between Lansing and Dunedin (they were promoted on the same day), and who is even younger at just 18 years of age.

For his part, Bichette made huge leaps this year, both in his performance in his prospect status. has him listed at #25 after starting the year absent from their top 100. He went from #93 to #44 by the time Baseball America updated their rankings at the midseason mark, and is poised to make another significant leap when they’re updated again, especially after players that are now in the big leagues are removed from the list.

And despite his growing status, it could play to his benefit to have Guerrero around to overshadow him a bit, or least share the burden of prospect excitement. They’re not even old enough to go to a pub and share a pint together yet, and they’ve been talked about as much or more than half the Blue Jays’ big league roster this year. That kind of pressure can get overwhelming over time, so their tag-teaming that element of their careers will be of great benefit.

The other facet of the situation is that they’ll inevitably compete with one another, and the Blue Jays should welcome that with open arms. Most players that reach this level are self-driven individuals, but having someone next to you set the bar a little higher on a daily basis is good for everyone involved. For Bichette, his performance should have him on the cover of every MiLB outlet there is, and instead he’s playing second fiddle to a guy sitting next to him on the bench.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that there is any animosity between the two at all, but rather that it’s only natural for each player to want to “be the best”. When the guy potentially keeping you from that title is one of your buddies and teammates, it will either have a positive influence, or a negative one. After watching the two of them tear up both leagues they played in, as teenagers no less, I’d say they’re pushing each other in a healthy and productive way, and the Blue Jays should be thrilled.

Don’t expect either player at the highest level until 2019, but don’t be shocked if either or both get a cup of coffee in September either. At this point, the expectation is that both players will begin next season with Double A New Hampshire, but no official announcement has been made. I think it’s safe to say that they’ll be playing together again to start the season, wherever that is, and the more I watch and read about Bo Bichette, the more excited I become. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. may be the face of the next generation of the Blue Jays, but this Bichette kid is the real deal too, and I don’t think he’s going to let us forget it.

Next: Blue Jays' players throwing shade on Twitter