Blue Jays: Familiarity definitely didn’t hurt Bo Bichette in his debut

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JULY 29: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays get his first Major League hit in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JULY 29: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays get his first Major League hit in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Bo Bichette made his big league debut on Monday night, and it had to have helped his nerves having so many familiar teammates surrounding him on the diamond.

The long-awaited debut of Bo Bichette finally helped on Monday night, and the #1 prospect in the Blue Jays’ minor league system made an impact in his first game. He even collected a hit in his first at-bat, on the second big league pitch he’s ever seen.

Regardless of how ready a prospect may be, or even how confident they may be, there are still some nerves that come with making your MLB debut. I don’t care who you are. But Bichette certainly had the benefit of some familiar faces around him, joining several of his former teammates who had reached the highest level before he did.

The list of people he knows in the clubhouse is long, but it had to help with how close of his former teammates are around him. I mean, he was literally surrounded. The Blue Jays started Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to his right on third base, and Cavan Biggio to his left at second base. They even had Thomas Pannone on the mound to start Bichette’s debut, and he also had both Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez right behind him in the outfield, both former teammates from their stints in Buffalo, and elsewhere in Gurriel Jr’s case.

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Bichette was able to reunite with others as well, including catchers Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire, and others like Ryan Borucki. He also had the benefit of seeing his old coach again, John Schneider, who was in New Hampshire with Bichette when he and many of the names I’ve already mentioned won a Double-A championship together.

The 21-year-old has shown for a while that he’s ready to play at the highest level, but the Blue Jays needed to create some roster space in order to bring him north, and also to make sure that he was getting consistent playing time. With Eric Sogard having been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays, and also Freddy Galvis being scratched on Monday because of lower back tightness, Bichette should be a lineup fixture in Toronto for the remainder of the season.

Now that guys like Sogard and Marcus Stroman have been traded, and the possibility remains that others like Galvis and veterans like Justin Smoak and Ken Giles are on the move as well, the torch has really been passed to the kids. Kids like Bichette are going to be counted on to produce, and to help justify the Blue Jays’ decision to aggressively enter into a rebuild.

Fortunately for guys like Bichette, the pressure is pretty low right now, as the Blue Jays are not expected to win a whole lot for the remainder of the season. He will have to produce enough to justify his playing though, but he’s in a great position to do just that. He had an appropriate stay at each level of the minor league system, and he’s surrounded by friends in Toronto.

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While they don’t have a lot of experience, you can bet that they’ll do whatever they can to show him the ropes and make him comfortable. That will certainly help, and something tells me that Bichette is going to thrive over the final 54 games of this season.

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