Bo Bichette impressed the Blue Jays and their fans with his epic introduction to the league late last year, and his play isn’t the only reason to like the budding young star.
The Blue Jays might need several more pieces before they’ll truly be contenders in the American League, but they’re already putting together a nice core of talented young players.
That group is led by a group of budding young stars, most of whom are infielders. Depending on how you view Rowdy Tellez‘s potential at first base, one could argue that the Blue Jays only need time and experience for their homegrown infield to become one of the better ones in the American League. There’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at third base, Cavan Biggio at second, Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire behind the plate, and Bo Bichette at shortstop. That’s a pretty great place to work from when you’re a rebuilding club.
Bichette was the last of the group to make his MLB debut, and he was arguably the most exciting during his 46 game stint. He finished with a slash line of .311/.358/.571, adding 11 home runs and 18 doubles in just 196 at-bats, good for 2.1 bWAR. There is a ton to like about the 21-year-old, and it looks like the Blue Jays have their shortstop of the future for many years to come.
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Or do they?
I only say that because of some of the reports that came out yesterday, specifically when Charlie Montoyo made an appearance on the Fan 590 with Stephen Brunt and Arash Madani. Montoyo gushed about his young infield captain, but also let us in on something that happened a few week ago. Apparently, Bichette suggested that the Blue Jays should sign another shortstop, volunteering to play whatever position the Blue Jays needed him to in order to make the team better. According to a tweet from Ben Nicholson-Smith, it was something like, “I’ll play anywhere. Sign that guy.”
You’ve gotta love hearing that, especially from a guy that should be a huge building block to this team going forward.
There’s a very good chance that the free agent being referred to here was Didi Gregorius, who eventually signed with the Phillies on a one-year, 14 million dollar pact. He’s quietly been one of the better shortstops in baseball for several years now, but flew under the radar a bit with the Yankees and all of their other offensive weapons. He had a bit of a down season coming back from Tommy John surgery last year, but from 2016-2018 he averaged 24 home runs and 27 doubles while playing above-average defence. That makes a team better, and Bichette knows that. It also sounds like the Blue Jays at least kicked the tires on the idea before he signed in Philadelphia.
It obviously didn’t work out, but Montoyo making that anecdote public certainly puts Bichette in a positive light. As an emerging talent, he would have plenty of reason to want to stick to his main position, but that’s not the most important thing to him, clearly. Above all else, Bichette obviously wants to win, and that’s the type of leader you want in your clubhouse, even if he’s barely old enough to order himself a bottle of wine at a fancy dinner.
From the second Bichette hit a big league field, he looked like he belonged. His talent was obvious from the get-go as he broke rookie records in his first few weeks. However, his confidence was just as apparent, as he carried himself with a swagger that bordered on arrogant, but did so in a charming way. He’s still just a kid, and it’s glaringly obvious how excited he was to arrive at the highest level and to show the world what he can do.
Instead of getting caught up in how great his debut went, or what he wants to achieve in his own career (although he does have some significant goals), Bichette hasn’t lost perspective on the most important thing. Putting yourself above the team will always get you further, and Bichette is already displaying some important leadership in that department. Sooner than later, that’s going to translate into a lot more wins.