Bo Bichette’s Big Swing Yields Big Results

TORONTO—Bo Bichette’s swing features a leg kick reminiscent of Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson and a bat path that evokes a lumberjack in a forest.

That combination leaves little doubt that the 19-year-old shortstop, a second-round pick last year, is at the plate to do damage. So far, Bichette has done just that.

“That’s a big part of my game,” said Bichette, who hit .427/.451/.732 with four home runs in 22 games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League last year. “When I’m not as aggressive as I want to be, I start swinging at bad pitches. Being aggressive helps me be more selective as a hitter—it’s a weird combination, but it makes me be in the strike zone.”

Bichette, whom Toronto drafted out of high school in St. Petersburg, Fla., compiled those numbers despite missing a month with a bout of appendicitis that did not require surgery.

Yet as he enters his second season of pro baseball, the son of Dante Bichette and younger brother of Dante Jr. is looking to make some gains at the plate, particularly with two strikes.

Bichette struck out nearly 19 percent of the time in his debut, which is one of the reasons why his two-strike approach will be a point of emphasis in 2017, when he appears ticketed for low Class A Lansing.

“I think that’s probably the most important thing in baseball,” Bichette said. “If you can squeak out a few hits with two strikes, that can really make a difference in your season. Everybody can hit without two strikes. Two strikes is definitely tough, (because) these pitchers can put you away.”

Toward that end, his approach down in the count is to “take away my leg kick and let the ball get as deep as I can. That helps me with my plate discipline and picking up breaking balls.”

That doesn’t mean Bichette will be altering the big swing that’s carried him so far.

“I’m not the biggest guy around. I’m barely 6 feet (and) 190 pounds, so I’ve got to get everything I can out of my body,” Bichette said. “So I let myself be natural and swing as hard as I can.”


The Blue Jays promoted Eric Wedge from his advisory role to become the new field coordinator, replacing Doug Davis.

• Devon White, the graceful former Blue Jays center fielder, is getting back on the field as the hitting coach at Triple-A Buffalo. It’s his first coaching assignment in the club’s farm system, but he previously served as an outfield and baserunning coordinator for the Nationals and White Sox.

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