Last year Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was introduced to the big leagues with 61 games. That experience was good for him, and could be great for Bo Bichette as well.
Are you sick of hearing about when Bo Bichette is going to make his MLB debut? Well, it’s probably going to continue until he gets his call-up, but the good news is that it’s going to happen sooner than later.
As I watched the Blue Jays’ young offence put together a great start against the Detroit Tigers last night, I got excited thinking about their future potential, which of course led me to think about Bichette eventually joining his former teammates in the big leagues. And as I watched Lourdes Gurriel Jr. make yet another great defensive play in left field and make an impact at the plate, I got thinking about how he was introduced to the highest level, and how much I think it’s helped him for the 2019 season.
Gurriel Jr. broke into the big leagues in 2018 and played in 61 games as a rookie, snapping the record for a multi-hit game streak for first-year players, and challenging the all-time record before finally cooling off. While a lot has changed for him since then, including a position change and a return to Buffalo after a tough start to this year, he’s developed into one of the most exciting pieces on the Blue Jays’ roster, both now and for the future.
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There are some folks who would argue that it doesn’t matter if Bichette makes his MLB debut this season, as it’s already a lost year for the struggling Blue Jays. However, I would argue that if Bichette can get some valuable experience against the best players in the world this year, that will prepare him to make a much bigger impact in 2020. I don’t know that the Blue Jays will be realistic contenders next season, but they will want to take some important steps in that direction with an eye on 2021 and beyond.
Bichette has played very well this year, especially when you consider that he missed a good chunk of the campaign with a broken bone in his hand. There was some initial concern that he could be out for a much longer period, but thankfully the injury only kept him out a little more than a month, and he hasn’t shown any ill effects while dominating in Buffalo. It appears he’s ready for the next challenge, and he’s even said as much when asked by members of the media recently.
My guess is that Bichette will make his debut sometime in the first week of August, especially if one or both of Freddy Galvis and Eric Sogard are traded before the July 31st deadline. It remains to be seen what Ross Atkins and company have in their immediate plans, but I would argue that the experience path that Gurriel Jr. enjoyed last year would be good for Bichette as well. Here’s hoping that’s exactly how it works out, as I know I’m not alone in looking forward to Bichette putting on a Blue Jay uniform for the first time.