Bo Bichette has long faced questions about sticking at shortstop for the Blue Jays, and he gave a great answer when it came up again this week.
I’m sure he’s already getting a little bit sick of topic by now, but Bo Bichette is probably getting used to being asked about whether he’ll play shortstop for the long-term in his MLB career.
Back when he was still a prospect, there were questions about whether or not he could handle the position at the highest level, or if he’d have to move to second base or the outfield at some point. However, Bichette’s shown that he’s certainly capable at the position, and he’s made significant improvements since his MLB debut as he’s dedicated more focus to his defensive responsibilities.
I actually think that the question of whether Bichette can handle shortstop has been answered, as he’s proven himself as a capable defender. However, as the Blue Jays look to go from “good” to “great”, an improvement with team defence is going to have to be a focus. With that in mind, there are options on the table, and it sounds like the budding young star is pretty aware.
He recently made an appearance on “The Good Show” and was asked about his defence this year, in the future, and how he would feel about making a position switch if it came up this off-season. As always, Bichette expressed confidence in himself and his work ethic, but also gave the “right” answer in a lot of ways too.
"“I’ve worked really hard at that position and it would be definitely disappointing if I had to move off, but at the same time if there was someone that’s a huge upgrade and could help us win a championship it’s something I wouldn’t get in the way of.”"
Translation= I don’t want to be moved unless it’s for a superstar, such as someone like Francisco Lindor, who could be on the trade block this winter in Cleveland.
For me, Bichette gave pretty much the perfect response. You want to see a player that believes in themselves and will fight for their position, but also ultimately understands that baseball at this level is a business, and winning takes precedent. I’m sure if Bichette had to move to second base to accommodate someone like Lindor that he’d be more willing in that scenario.
That said, young Bo also made a clear point about what he needs to feel the most comfortable on defence as well.
"“I would definitely like to play the same position every day – I don’t think a platoon situation would be great – but I think that any way to make the team better I’m definitely open to.”"
Not everyone is willing to be as flexible as a guy like Cavan Biggio, who has already played six positions since his big league debut. For some players, being in a consistent routine is important, and focused work on a skillset can be crucial. I don’t think it’s a selfish ask from a player at all either, but again, Bichette reiterated that he’ll do what makes the team better.
All that being said, Bichette appears as though he’ll be the type of franchise talent that the Blue Jays will truly build around for many years ahead, and there’s something to be said for making sure those types are happy. With only 75 games on his MLB resume, it’s understandable that Bichette hasn’t completely established himself just yet, but some point he’s going to want to put this question behind him once and for all.