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Introducing Bo - The Youngest Bichette Has Finally Arrived


It's been years in the making. Who was once a second-round pick for the Blue Jays in 2016 has turned into a real major leaguer, and he is here to stay. By now, we all know about Bo Bichette and his pedigree. He has been one of the most-heralded prospects for the past two years and his time has arrived with Toronto's call-up a few days ago.

Even with all of that, there is an outside chance that you still don't know or realize who the shortstop is and where his game stands right now. If so, there's a good chance you aren't old enough to remember his dad, Dante Bichette.

With him becoming part of every fantasy league from this very moment, it looks like a proper time to asses his qualities and introduce him to every fantasy owner interested in the young infielder.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Who Is Bo Bichette?

You have heard the name, but you have not watched the tape. Fear nothing. This will get you up to date with Bichette's profile as a hitting machine.

If there is something to know about Bo Bichette, it must be his hitting prowess and his power. Bichette profiles as a hard hitter and his minor league numbers show it. This year, accounting only for his time at Triple-A Buffalo, he's hit eight home runs in 244 plate appearances, amassed 61 hits, walked 19 times, and converted 32 RBI. His slash line of .275/.333/.473 doesn't look overly great, but given the little time he's spent on Triple-A (at age 21, way below the average), it was enough to grant him a call from the Blue Jays.

After Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s graduation, Bichette became the No. 1 prospect in Toronto's farm system, and with good reason. Even while suffering a little slump during the month of August (which he attributes to his antsy about getting called-up), Bichette surely looks like he's been on a steadily-improving path.

 

Bo's Value Volume I: Dynasty

Let's start assessing Bo Bichette's value for fantasy owners that are playing in Dynasty leagues. Those competitions reward more sound planning and are based on more true-to-life strategies such as stashing prospects that could eventually pan out, getting assets for both the present and the future, etc. Bichette's value in Dynasty leagues is, plain and simple, unbeatable.

The fact that Bichette comes as an organization No. 1 prospect speaks for itself. Not only that, but MLB Pipeline has him ranked as the eighth-best prospect overall. By this time, Bichette must already be part of the player pool in your league, so if you are still able to find him unclaimed don't lose a single second getting him before he flies off the board!

While talking Dynasties, current production is not that important. Bichette will be given even more room to grow at his own pace now that the Blue Jays has traded Eric Sogard just prior to the prospects promotion. The shortstop position is his to lose now in Toronto and it doesn't look like it will change either the short- or long-term future. Even if he eventually moves to second or third base, which some scouts think will happen, there is no doubt he'll remain in the lineup one way or another for years to come.

These are the two-year projections ZiPS is giving him, starting next season:

The only four players to have at least 2.5 WAR in 2018 and 2019 while being 22 years old at most are Rafael Devers, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Cody Bellinger. That's who Bichette is projected to be next season.

Enough to convince you of getting him. So yes, buy/add/get/sign/trade or use whatever means you have, but put Bichette in your roster right now!

 

Bo's Value Volume II: ROS

Here is the tricky part with Bo Bichette. The kid is already a major leaguer, and therefore he's going to produce value for the two months left in the season. This is where discrepancies of his true value for the next few weeks may arise depending on the type of league and how different owners value prospects and strategize.

We have already mentioned how Bichette is a lock in Dynasty leagues. There are no surprises there, and that should be assumed every day. On the other hand, re-draft leagues pose another completely different challenge when thinking about what to do with Bichette's appearance in the players' pool.

As of Wednesday, Toronto has 53 games left on its schedule. Let's not fool ourselves here, and say Bichette will definitely play in no less than 50 of them if not in every single one. In order to assess or predict what we could expect from Bichette in that timespan, I took a look at late-season (June 1 or later) call-ups from last year. There were only six position-players that fit the profile, but only two of them can be seen as comparables to Bichette in terms of sample size: Jake Bauers (96 games) and Kyle Tucker (28 games).

Jake Bauers debut season ended with him hitting 11 HR, scoring 48 runs and 48 RBIs, putting up 6 SB, and slashing .201/.316/.384. Kyle Tucker got 9 H, no HR, 1 SB, 4 RBI, and a slash line of .141/.236/.203. These numbers represent a small sample size of only two players. While there is little use in overanalyzing brief performances, it does identify a very important point: it takes time to adapt to the majors.

Looking at ROS projections by Steamer, Bichette is expected to play 44 games, get 44 H, 4 HR, 20 R, and 20 RBI, 7 SB, and slash .263/.313/.415. Not bad production, but nothing out of this world neither.

In pure re-draft leagues in which you will only squeeze two months off Bichette, though, I'd advise passing on him. Despite a clear path to playing time, it will take time for Bichette's skills to stabilize at the top level. Therefore, his production will probably not help you during the rest of the season.

One thing to consider, although it could be hard to pull off, is to take advantage of the expectations and hype Bichette is bringing to the league with him and try to sign-and-trade him as soon as possible.

In a league full of savvy and experienced owners this would never happen, but in others filled with less experienced players, you could try to get a veteran for Bichette. I would recommend this move over keeping the rookie, as even slumping players with MLB experience are expected to be more valuable ROS than a true newcomer.

While no one will trade any incredibly talented player for Bichette (at the end of the day he's an unproven commodity right now), you could look for trade packages that include players such as Khris Davis, Michael Brantley, Adalberto Mondesi, Scott Kingery, or Brian McCann. It would depend on how different owners see Bichette's potential ROS performance and how high they are on the shortstop, but it is a strategy worth trying if you can get Bichette for free and have space to play around with him.

 

Conclusion

All in all, Bichette has arrived a little late to the party. But don't think he has not brought enough goods to be part of it for years to come. Some of us expected Guerrero Jr. to break baseball from day one, but it is taking a little more time for him to gear up. Whether Bichette follows the same path or start putting on a show from day one, we shouldn't worry too much about it for now given the upside he comes with.

He already has the hitting tools to become a staple in any type of league going forward, boast enough power to put up high HR numbers and although he may lose speed along the way, he can also provide base running production in the shape of SB for quite some time.

Get Bichette as soon as you can and plan ahead of time. You'll need that middle infield free for him to slot in before you know it.

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