Bo Bichette is one of the most highly regarded young prospects in baseball, but he still has a ways to go before he’s the most accomplished player in the family.
Such is life for the son of former Colorado Rockies slugger Dante Bichette, but the massive shadow doesn’t seem to be affecting the youngest Bichette, as the talented shorstop raked his way through the Toronto Blue Jays’ Single-A affiliate, earned a spot in the 2017 MLB Futures Game and is quickly climbing prospect lists.
Here’s what you should know about the 19-year-old:
1. He’s Baseball America’s Midseason No. 44 Overall Prospect
Drafted out of Lakewood High School (St. Petersburg, Florida) by the Blue Jays in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft, Bichette needed very little time to acclimate to professional baseball. He crushed opposing pitching to the tune of .427/.451/.732 in 22 games of Rookie ball in 2016, and he has proceeded to absolutely mash in his sophomore season.
Through 70 games with Single-A Lansing, Bichette hit .384/.448/.623 with 10 home runs, 32 doubles, three triples, 51 RBI and 60 runs scored. The batting average and doubles both ranked No. 1 among all professional ranks, earning him a spot in the 2017 MLB Futures Game and a promotion to Class-A Advanced Dunedin.
He’s also climbing the prospect rankings. Bichette, who started the year ranked 93 on Baseball America’s list, has vaulted all the way up to No. 44 on the midseason update.
2. His Dad Hit 274 Career MLB Home Runs
Dante Bichette had a 14-year MLB career that included stints with the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels (California Angels at the time), Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds, but he is, of course, known for his time in Colorado.
During his seven years with the Rockies from 1992 through 1999, the 6-foot-3 corner outfielder hit .316/.352/.540 with an average of 29 home runs, 39 doubles and 118 RBI per season. In 1995, he terrorized pitching en route to leading the league in hits (197), home runs (40), RBI (128) and slugging percentage (.620), though he narrowly finished second in MVP voting to Barry Larkin.
Bichette ended his career as a .299 hitter with 274 home runs, 401 doubles, 1906 hits and four All-Star Game appearances. Bo’s got a ways to go before he catches dad.
3. His Brother Is in the Yankees Farm System
While Bo’s minor league career is off to a blistering start, his older brother hasn’t had quite as much success.
Dante Bichette Jr., who first turned heads at the Little League World Series, was the Yankees’ first draft selection (51st overall) in 2011. He has slashed just .247/.326/.361 in his minors career, however, and he’s currently in his second season at Double-A Trenton.
Prior to the 2017 season, Dante Jr. and Bo were able to play in the World Baseball Classic qualifying rounds together for Team Brazil because their mother, Mariana, was born there.
“It was the first time that me and Bo have been able to play together which was awesome for me, and I think for him as well,” said Dante Jr. “We had a blast there we both said that we wish the team could go on and play year-round. It was just so much fun. The passion that they play with for their country is just amazing.”
4. He Plays With Another Famous MLB Son
For as well as Bo is playing, he still isn’t the Blue Jays’ top prospect. That honor would go to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the son of the 2004 AL MVP and No. 2 prospect in all of baseball.
The pair of MLB sons appear have seemingly forged a bond through their similarities, and they’re currently on a similar path to the majors, as they were promoted to Single-A Advanced Dunedin at the same time.
“The type of players that they are and the type of persons that they are, it’s a good combination for the players on this team,” said Single-A Lansing manager Cesar Martin. “Everyone around them got better and everyone wanted to have them because of the type of teammates they are. They’ve made a big difference here.”
5. His Dad Wanted Him to Play Tennis
It may seem absurd in hindsight, but when when Bo was growing up, his dad had a different sport in mind for his son.
“I told him, you can write your own lineup in tennis,” said Bichette Sr. “You either win or lose. In baseball, sometimes you have to rely on the politics of who is writing the lineup. It’s not all that fun.”
Though Bo ultimately chose baseball over tennis, his dad believes being accomplished in the latter has helped him in the former.
“Bo was an incredibly good tennis player. He would’ve been a good one. I think tennis helped his [baseball] game. Athletic movements are athletic movements. The swing, the forehand, the throw … they’re all athletic movements. Tennis was a way he could practice without going out and grinding out baseball practices. He could get the same kind of workout, and add some footwork in there.”
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