With a disappointing 2017 season now long behind them, the Toronto Blue Jays have no choice but to look ahead to the future.
As one of the top prospects in the system, 19-year-old Bo Bichette is a big part of that future.
Almost two months removed from an impressive offensive season that saw him register a league-high .362 batting average to go with 14 home runs while splitting time between mid- and high-A, Bichette joined Mike Wilner on Blue Jays Talk on Friday night.
The 2016 second-round pick touched on a variety of topics, including his numbers, how he approaches at-bats, and what he — and others — think about his unconventional swing.
Here are a few excerpts:
On how much he looks at his stats:
“I’m someone who looks at my numbers every day and that kind of thing does give me motivation, kind of seeing what I can do next game to get here and how many home runs I need until 10, double digits, stuff like that. Numbers, they do push me a little bit and give me a little bit of motivation, so I was looking at it but at the same time, it’s just about controlling what you can control and that’s kind of how I took to it and tried to handle it.”
Who is the first teenager since 1963 to win the Minor League batting title?
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) October 7, 2017
On which professional ball player he looks up to:
“I wouldn’t really say that I look up to many. If I had to pick one, honestly it would be [Troy Tulowitzki]. Just from when I met him when I was 14 years old and kind of spent a whole entire summer with him with my dad being the [Colorado Rockies] hitting coach at the time. He kind of took me under his wing and taught me a lot. I don’t think that I would be the player that I am if I’d never met him, and so for me, if I had to say I look up to somebody, it would be Tulo.”
On his unorthodox swing:
“I have not had one person in the Blue Jays organization say anything to me about my swing, which is obviously all I could have hoped for. I mean, I’m not someone who’s super stingy that if I go 1-for-100, you know I’m the worst hitter in the minor league, that I wouldn’t seek other options. But for me, every day, I’m trying to figure out how to get better — my swing, my approach, all that stuff. I’m just lucky that the Blue Jays have left me alone and they kind of let me do my own thing. It’s worked out pretty well so far.”
On what scouts make of his swing:
“I don’t know. I think that it’s just different, they haven’t seen it before. I don’t blame them, if you haven’t seen something before, you won’t know how to process what the player will be in the future. To me, it’s not that weird. I don’t really understand it. I couldn’t really tell you what’s different. I think that people think, ‘Oh, if he has a big leg kick,’ well Josh Donaldson can do it because he’s Josh Donaldson. I think everybody’s their own hitter and people can do things in different ways. But I’m not really sure what exactly they see.”
On how he describes his hitting style:
“The type of hitter I am is, I’m really aggressive, I look to hit the ball as hard as I can every single at-bat. I study pitchers a lot so I like to kind of know what their plans are going to be, I like to have an idea of what I might be looking for and things like that. My biggest strength as a hitter I think is my two-strike approach. I just really try and embattle him and let the ball get as deep as I can. That kind of helps me take away any weaknesses I have as a hitter.
“Basically, my goal is to be a tough out and that’s what I work to do.”