Seen: 7/21 vs Lakeland Flying Tigers in Dunedin
Stats: 1-4, 2B, K
While in Florida to see some Braves prospects, I decided to talk everyone else into taking a two hour drive down I-4 to watch Toronto Blue Jays prospects Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after the GCL game we were at in Orlando that afternoon was suspended due to rain.
Some rain followed us into the Tampa area, where Dunedin is located, so unfortunately we didn’t get to see batting practice.
The Bichette and Guerrero duo was in their first handful of games in the Florida State League after a promotion following the Futures Game, so they were still adjusting to tougher competition.
This was Bichette’s 10th game in High A, and while you could tell he was still adjusting to tougher competition he looked more comfortable at the plate than Vladdy Jr. Not that Vladdy wasn’t very impressive but he did look tentative at times, which is perfectly understandable for an 18 year old in the Florida State League.
Hitting: Bichette has an aggressive approach for sure. He comes up swinging, and swinging aggressively. While he's aggressive, I wouldn't say he's a free swinger. Bichette has an idea of the strike zone and a plan at the plate. When he gets two strikes on him he becomes less aggressive in his swings and more contact oriented.
I saw him use his hands to change the bat path on a two strike pitch and use the awkward angle to flick one out for a double. That's because he's got impressive bat to ball skills and contact ability to go with the ability to make hard contact. I see him as a plus hitter, one who would get a 60 grade on his hit tool.
Power: Bichette has impressive power potential, though he’s not a guy who goes up hunting home runs as much as one who looks to make hard contact. That’s partly why he’s a doubles machine right now- though as he matures some of those doubles will go over the fence for homers. I think the power plays up as a plus hitter, and can see it grading in at about a 55 in game.
Defense: Bichette played shortstop here and it was obvious that while he could play short in the low minors, he won't be able to hold that position in the big leagues. That's okay though since he was drafted as a second baseman.
His range at short is a little below what you’d want there, but I think he's got more than enough range to play second along with enough arm for the spot- though he didn’t have the arm for short for sure. He should be at least an adequate fielder at second. A 45-50 grade is a safe bet and the arm is a 45-50.
Run: I didn't get a chance to time him but he was an above average runner on the eye test right now. He's likely going to add some strength/weight and slow down however. I feel comfortable in projecting him out to a 45-50 there depending on how big he gets, though it would presently grade out better.
Summary: Bichette is impressive, both with his scouting report and his production- he’s among the five finalists for the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year. He's going to likely hit .300 and hit for good power numbers- both homers and doubles. And he's going to do that while playing second base, making his production even more impressive.
Bichette is worth every bit of the hype he's received so far and would easily rank in the Top 30 prospects in the game to me, if not higher. He’s got some Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia in him, two of the best offensive second basemen in this century.