Blue Jays: “I think Bo Bichette could lead the league in hits”
The Blue Jays may have some injury problems with their pitching staff, but their lineup, lead by Bo Bichette, is going to score a lot of runs.
Despite the fact that Bichette has played just 75 games as a big leaguer, he’s already made quite the name for himself. That’ll happen when you slash .307/.347/.549 with 16 home runs, 44 RBI, and 37 RBI over your first 319 at-bats, but he’s still a relatively inexperienced big leaguer in the grand scheme of things.
That doesn’t matter much to most baseball people though, and you can count ESPN’s Jeff Passan among them.
While appearing on Sportsnet’s “Tim and friends” on Wednesday, Passan had some very encouraging words for Blue Jays fans, even if the news has been pretty rough lately on the injury front. When it came to Bichette, Passan went as far as saying that he thought the 23-year-old could league the American League in hits in 2021, which is quite the statement. He also talked about how the Jays could be a ‘5-run a night team” with the way Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and others have looked this spring.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
Is it possible that Bichette could lead the AL in hits? Of course, but it’ll be a tall order. For starters, he’ll have to stay healthy for most or all of the 162 games, and of course, he’ll have some competitive.
Last season Bichette collected 37 hits in 29 games, which is interesting when we compare that to the league leaders. That title went to Jose Abreu of the White Sox, who ended up with 76 hits while playing in all 60 games in 2020 and getting 240 at-bats. Bichette had a little more than half of that with 123 at-bats around his injuries, but if you simply doubled his numbers then he would have been just short of Abreu’s total at the top of the leaderboard.
Bichette should have an even better time in 2021 though, as he’s expected to make further improvements as he gains more MLB experience, and he’ll have quite the protection in the batting order this year regardless of how the Jays line things up. With the additions of George Springer and Marcus Semien, along with a brand-new version of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., a deep and dangerous lineup should be even better. Opposing pitchers might want to avoid Bichette at times, but it’s not going to get any easier if they do.
At the end of the day, I just want to see Bichette have a healthy and productive season, and it doesn’t matter much to me whether he leads the league in any categories. That said, I agree with Passan that he’s going to be a special hitter in 2021 and beyond, and I’m sure there are at least one or two batting titles coming his way some day.