A Bo Bichette resurgence right now could be more valuable than any blockbuster trade the Blue Jays could’ve made at the deadline.
After a monster 2021 campaign in which he slashed .298/.343/.484 with 29 homeruns, 102 RBI’s, and an American League leading 191 hits, expectations were sky-high for Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette coming into 2022. FanGraphs steamer projections projected Bichette to slash .287/.339/.503 with 30 homeruns. Thus far, he certainly hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Bichette’s current stats are not those that fans have become accustomed to seeing over his first three seasons in the major leagues. His batting average is sitting at .260, his power is down with only 14 homeruns so far, and his OBP is sitting at .303. His 430 at-bats currently leads the league, although his OBP, OPS, and number of strikeouts are all among the worst in the league among players with 400 or more at-bats.
His WRC+ is also currently sitting at 97. If you are unfamiliar with WRC+, it stands for Weighted Runs Created Plus, and is a statistic that takes into account “important external factors” and essentially tells you how well a player is doing offensively. 100 is average, so, statistically speaking, Bichette has been three percent below league average this season. For comparison, his WRC+ was 122 last season.
Bichette has moved all over the lineup this year. He has bat leadoff, second, third, and fourth heading into last nights game for the Blue Jays. Amongst his current slump, manager John Schneider moved Bichette down to the No. 5 spot against the Twins. He found success in that spot last night, as he went 3-5 with two doubles and two runs scored. Certainly a reason for optimism.
With many fans dissatisfied with the trade deadline moves, or lack thereof, there’s no better time than now for a Bo Bichette reemergence. With the majority of the team already clicking offensively, Bichette finding his groove could be exactly what the club needs as September looms.