With spring training starting in a week, one can’t help but speculate which player will be primarily playing the shortstop position come regular season. When Marcus Semien, who usually plays shortstop, was signed by the Blue Jays recently from Oakland, it was announced he would be focusing on 2B, allowing rising star Bo Bichette to continue to play his regular position on the infield.
However, recent tweet from Jays reporter Ben Nicholson-Smith says that Semien will be focusing on both SS and 2B this spring. Since Semien has more experience at shortstop, and Bichette’s ability to handle this position has been argued by some folks since the postseason last year, it’s worth focusing on who is right for shortstop, and who will be the most successful long-term.
Marcus Semien, who was the everyday shortstop for the Oakland Athletics, has been exclusively playing the position since 2015. Committing numerous errors has been a problem for him in the past, but improvement has been shown in the last few years. In the 2020 shortened season, he committed just seven errors in 53 games, with an overall fielding percentage of .967. At 30 years old, he surely will become one of the veteran leaders of the young team.
Bo Bichette, one of the Jays up-and-coming young core, has similar statistics. In the 2020 season, he committed three errors in 26 games, with a fielding percentage of .971. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen enough of Bichette yet to really get a feel for him at this position, because of his short debut season and injuries last year. However, in the limited time we have seen him on the field, improvement has been shown. One example of this being one of his diving catches in the 2020 season, showing the kind of ability that he is on the right track to improving his game.
Personally, I would like to see Bichette stay in the shortstop position, as I believe that he has the potential to succeed there. Bo is known for having a great work ethic and attitude towards wanting to improve his arm, physique and agility, so I believe that with more time and practice he can be a top shortstop.
It also works better as well for the Jays if they decide to keep Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at 1B, which would then have Semien at 2B as intended, Bichette at SS and then Cavan Biggio would head up the hot corner, 3B. As of right now the Blue Jays seem to be keeping Bo at SS, with Semien as another option depending on Bichette’s performance throughout the 2021 season.
Who do you want to play shortstop?