BUFFALO, N.Y. — Bo Bichette denied any subliminal meaning to his recent ominous tweet, but didn’t shy away on Tuesday from sharing thoughts about his readiness for the big leagues.
The Blue Jays’ top prospect was asked if he thinks he deserves a promotion to Toronto and didn’t mince words.
“Yeah, I’ve done everything they asked me to do,” Bichette said in an interview with Sportsnet. “I’ve performed, I’ve put up numbers. I’ve gotten better offensively, defensively, base-running, as an athlete, as a teammate. Everything they’ve asked me to do, I’ve done for the past three years.
“So, if I’m not ready in their mind, there’s something new that they need to tell me I need to get better at.”
Speculation around Bichette’s eventual call-up heightened in recent weeks as he’s continued to impress since returning from a fractured hand. The shortstop entered Tuesday hitting .325/.382/.525 with four home runs, 11 stolen bases and 12 doubles over his past 29 games in triple-A.
On Sunday, the 21-year-old appeared to add a touch of drama to his situation when he tweeted, “No point in chasing an outcome when you can’t control that outcome.”
The social media post caused some to wonder if Bichette was upset that he wasn’t summoned by the Blue Jays when an open roster spot was created by the demotion of first baseman Rowdy Tellez. Outfielder Billy McKinney ended up making his way to the big-league team as the corresponding move.
Bichette noticed the mass response to his tweet and calls the situation “kind of funny,” while also insisting he wasn’t voicing bitterness at not being promoted.
“I just had a game where I should have had four hits, but I only had one, so that’s what I was talking about,” he said, referring to Sunday’s game, in which Bichette went 1-for-5. “And then I had a bunch of replies on Twitter talking about, you know, stuff.
“That’s why I tweeted it out. It wasn’t really anything serious.”
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo admitted Monday that the organization has had discussions about bringing up Bichette, who’s ranked the No. 8 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline. However, the presence of everyday shortstop Freddy Galvis in Toronto likely complicates things.
Bichette, for his part, says the reason he’s not yet an MLB player hasn’t been communicated to him. He was by far the Blue Jays’ most impressive hitter in spring training despite having never played above double-A to that point. When he was assigned to the Bisons before the start of this season, Bichette says the organization’s decision-makers told him to continue to get better.
“They said I was one of the best players in camp and just to continue to build on that and so that’s what I’ve done,” said Bichette, who stopped short of saying there’s nothing left to accomplish at his current level.
“If they call me up at 30 instead of 21, I’ll be a better player at 30. There’s definitely room for improvement. But nothing that’s glaring, or anything like that. I’ve got a lot better at defence, at base-running, as a hitter. Everything.”
With Bichette on the cusp of realizing his lifelong dream, the responsibility of keeping him focused on the present falls to Bisons manager Bobby Meacham.
In that regard, the former Yankees shortstop says Bichette hasn’t let his focus drift, especially when it comes to defensive work. Bichette has always been known for his offensive prowess, and while Meacham praised his plate approach, the skipper has been even more thrilled by the prospect’s strides on the glove side of his game.
“I’ve been trying to tell these guys as much as I can — it’s hard to keep them focused on it — ‘Right now, you’re working on stuff. You can’t work on stuff up there [in the majors],’” Meacham said. “We can say they develop up there and we can pretend it happens a lot. It doesn’t. It’s rare. So, they need to develop routines, they need to develop skills to get better today, while they’re here.
“I keep trying to impress that upon [Bichette] and he’s taken to that,” Meacham added. “So now, when he goes up there he can just play and he’s not working on stuff that he should be working on down here.”
Bichette doesn’t need to look far to see what Meacham is describing. His friends and former minor-league teammates Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio are currently navigating life in the majors to varying degrees of success following their respective call-ups earlier this season.
The trio played and won together at various stops in the Blue Jays’ system and the thought of doing so at Rogers Centre is admittedly on Bichette’s mind, if not his Twitter account.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “We all envisioned getting called up at the same time. For me, I’d be the last one. It definitely means something to me to try and get up there as soon as I can.”