When Bo Bichette was being scouted as a Florida high schooler in 2015, he heard it all. Your busy swing won’t work in pro ball — you need to quiet it down. Your leg kick will get exposed against better pitching. All those moving parts will work against you when you see real velocity, real breaking balls, real sequencing. You can’t have success with a swing like that at the next level. Well, here’s what Bichette has done at the next level: splitting his 2017 between mid- and high-A, Bichette put up a .362/.423/.565 line with 14 home runs. He ranked among the top 10 of all minor leaguers in hits (162), doubles (41) and weighted runs created plus (180). He had at least a hit in 91 of his 110 games played. In 51 of those games, he had at least two. Simply put: Bichette just had one of the best offensive seasons of any minor leaguer in baseball. And if not for a 10-day absence this August after spraining his ankle running out a ground ball, he could have done even better. Looks like the swing works. But even with all that success in his first full season as a professional, Bichette says he still has his doubters. “I don’t know if I’ll ever shut everybody up,” the 19-year-old says late this August in Dunedin. “That’s the thing. I still hear like, ‘Oh, well, he’s hitting in A-ball but what about high-A? Oh, he’s hitting in high-A but what about double-A?’ I don’t know — I don’t really care. I just continue to be myself. Whether I prove people right or wrong, I’m not really into that. I just don’t really care about their input.”
When will the baseball world stop doubting Bo Bichette?
Sportsnet | Sep 5