Blue Jays: Bo Bichette destroys a pitch for first home run of the year [VIDEO]
There's a whole lot riding on the shoulders of Bo Bichette as the 2023 MLB season gets under way.
Expectations are high for the 25-year-old, and for good reason. He has been the American League leader in base hits in each of the past two seasons and is widely expected to be one of the cornerstones of this offense moving forward.
In Monday's Spring Training matchup against the Boston Red Sox, Bichette connected for his first home run of the year off of prospect Chris Murphy, and it was absolutely crushed. Seriously, this ball may not have landed yet.
UPDATE: He hit another one, this one traveled even further.
Bichette had a busy offseason that saw him get wrapped up in all sorts of contract drama. This was ultimately alleviated with a new three-year contract that will buyout the remainder of his arbitration-eligible seasons. He can finally focus on baseball.
On an even more positive note, he hosted a "Play Ball" event near his hometown in St. Petersburg, Florida, joined by teammates George Springer, Jordan Romano and Santiago Espinal.
While he has found himself in negative light with some Jays fans over the years, Bichette is turning into one of the more respectable players on this team. No longer is he to be viewed as a selfish player who cares more about his looks than he does winning ballgames.
Bichette's defense has been up and down over the course of his four-year big league career but he is only two years removed from stastically being an above-average shortstop on the field. Last year could very easily have been a fluke.
On offense, he remains one of the more dynamic position players in the game. He has tremendous bat-to-ball skills that translate well in the form of gap power and home run power. He has speed on the bases and has a career 127 OPS+, meaning he's been 27 percent above league average since he broke into the league.
This home run is certainly going to be the first of many this year. While it's still only Spring Training, it's great to see him picking up where he left off late in the 2022 season.