Surprisingly, Blue Jays No. 2 prospect Bo Bichette has reportedly been removed from the Arizona Fall League roster.
Bichette, along with fellow Blue Jays youngsters, was scheduled to head to Arizona this fall. The tweet also notes that Bichette will be replaced by infielder Santiago Espinal, No. 22 on MLB Pipeline’s list.
Bichette, 20, had been informed he would not be called up to the major league team earlier this month, but managed to help his current team, the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, to an Eastern League Championship.
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While Bichette himself has not spoken out on the move, it could possibly be due to exhaustion or fatigue from a long, drawn-out season of competitive baseball. Owning a .286/.343/.453 slash line on the year, Bichette smashed 11 home runs while driving in 74.
Espinal, an infielder acquired from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Steve Pearce earlier this season, had been contributing nicely to the High-A Dunedin Blue Jays as well as the Fisher Cats down the stretch. In 42 games for the Cats, he slashed an impressive .286/.354/.395 with nine doubles, two triples and 20 runs batted in.
While it’s undoubtedly disappointing that Bichette won’t be joining his teammates in Arizona, it’s likely for the best, especially if it is indeed because of fatigue. Espinal, though significantly lower on the organizational list, will now get his chance to improve during the offseason with a glut of talented youngsters.
The Arizona Fall League, while normally mildly interesting to most casual baseball fans, will be a certain point of interest for Blue Jays fans during what figures to be a pivotal offseason for the club.