Toronto Blue Jays: Could Bo Bichette be Big League ready in 2018?

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Bo Bichette
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Bo Bichette /

Could Bo Bichette help the Toronto Blue Jays compete in 2018? It is a possibility considering the young prospects development path so far.

Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have historically been patient with promoting prospects, both during their time in Cleveland and so far with the Jays. So promoting a 20-year old, who has yet to play above Single-A seems unlikely. But Bichette’s young Toronto Blue Jays career has also been anything but predictable.

According to MLB Pipeline Bichette’s MLB ETA is 2019, but that could be pushed up if there is a perfect storm created by need and desire in Toronto next season.

Here are a few reasons why it could happen.

Kid can hit

The now 19 year old has excelled at every level he’s been at over the last two seasons, starting in the Gulf Coast League last year, where he put up video game numbers, batting .427/.451/.732. He will end 2017 at Advance-A Dunedin where he is batting .348/.401/.468 through 34 games.

He earned the 2017 MidWest League MVP for the time he spent in Lansing and was named to the end of season All-Star team, alongside Jays number one prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Bichette was also named the League’s Prospect of the Year.

Both Guerrero and Bichette should begin 2018 at Double-A New Hampshire, which is seen as a jumping off point for Major League ready talent.

If the son of former Colorado Rockies slugger Dante Bichette continues to humiliate opposing pitchers, the Jays may be forced to at least consider the option in 2018.

The status of Troy Tulowitzki 

TORONTO, ON – JULY 28: Troy Tulowitzki
TORONTO, ON – JULY 28: Troy Tulowitzki /

Toronto’s needs in the infield will be dictated by the performance of their $20 million shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. If the oft-injured 33 year old, can prove he’s healthy and able to perform at his 2016 level then Bichette will not be rushed.

But if the Jays are to compete in 2018, having a combination of a struggling Tulowitzki, and Ryan Goins at short is not ideal.

It would be interesting to have the veteran Tulowitzki mentoring Bichette at the Big League level. Especially since the young shortstop sees the former Rockies star as an idol, stating earlier this year to Jays Journal “I see a lot of myself in him.”

Closing window in 2018

Toronto’s choice to standpat at this year’s deadline suggests the team believes it can be a contender in 2018. But could next season be the last shot before a rebuild?

With Josh Donaldson and JA Happ both set to hit free agency after 2018, Blue Jays management could go all in for next year.

The question left to answer is whether Bichette would be able to improve the club?


More from Tip of the Tower

There was a time in the MLB where promoting a 20-year old would be considered a desperate move. But in recent history many stars have broke out in their early twenties.

Houston Astros star-shortstop Carlos Correa was one of those elite prospects that was rushed to the majors and earned the American Rookie of the Year when he was just 20.

The 2012 first overall draft pick quickly rose through Houston’s farm system, ending 2014 at Advance-A. He started 2015 at Double-A and quickly advanced to the Big League club.

There are certainly arguments against this comparisons – Correa was a higher ranked prospect than Bichette and had nearly twice as many minor league at bats when he made his debut than the Jays prospect has right now.

But Correa made the jump from Advance-A to the Majors in less than a year and only needed 215 combined at bats at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.

Related Story: Blue Jays hoping like father, like son with legacy prospects

The likelihood of the Dunedin Blue Jays shortstop being promoted to the Big Leagues next season is a long shot. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi talked about how the club will likely bring Bichette and Guerrero Jr. along together, so the chances of them straying from that plan seems unrealistic.

It is also hard to predict how a young player will deal with the transition to the next level. Last season Rowdy Tellez looked like he was knocking on the door of the Big Leagues tearing it up in Double-A New Hampshire. But after being promoted to Buffalo the 22 year old first baseman has faltered.

In all likelihood the Bichette/Guerrero combo will continue to grow together at a reasonable pace, as both stars will need to get more ABs at the higher levels in the minors. It would seem that both these young men have proven everything they can at Single-A and will start next season with New Hampshire.

But if if Toronto finds themselves in a playoff hunt and Tulowitzki is either hurt or struggling, it could be an option. If Bichette is still dominating minor league pitching at this hypothetical point, than management’s hand could be forced.

Next: Time to show a financial commitment to Josh Donaldson

What should the plan be for Bichette? Should the Blue Jays bring him up in 2018 or should they be patient with him? Let us know in the comments.