Over the course of the last year, the Toronto Blue Jays have been waiting for three baby blue eggs to hatch from their minor league system, each the son of accomplished Major League players.
And it’s not like Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., were considered average players, either. These three kids not only were the prodigy of noteworthy fathers, they were keys to the future of the Toronto organization.
On Monday in Kansas City, Bichette finally became the last of the three to make his Major League debut and he singled in his first at-bat.
“My dad said, ‘congrats Bo Bo, you’re a big leaguer.’ That was cool,” said Bichette of his father, Dante Bichette.
Bichette took a pitch before singling through the left side of the infield in the second inning. The Blue Jays dutifully collected the baseball and put it aside.
“I wanted to see a pitch just so I could make sure I knew what the pitcher was doing and didn’t get ahead of myself in my first at-bat,” said Bichette after the game. “Just slow the game down. I just want to go up there and get a good pitch after that and just play the game.”
Guerrero, the son of a Hall of Famer, as recalled in April and has made an immediate impact, particularly in the All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby where he shattered records before losing in the final round to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.
Cavan Biggio, also the son of a Hall of Famer (Craig), was recalled in May and has become a steady presence in the Blue Jays lineup. The team finally made room for Bichette to become the everyday shortstop over the weekend by dealing Eric Sogard to the Tampa Bay Rays and asking Freddie Galvis to move to second.
“We all work pretty hard, we play pretty hard, we have an idea of what we want to be in this game and the type of things we want to accomplish,” said Bichette of the three rookies. “And one of those things is to win a World Series, so that’s something we always talked about. ‘Man, we can get up there and create a culture and create an atmosphere that’s fun to be around and win games.’ That’s what we’re going to try and do, so hopefully, we can start it today.”
Bichette may have actually had a better spring than Biggio or Guerrero and there was a thought he deserved a Major League promotion sooner than both of them. The Blue Jays opted for caution and carved out more time for his seasoning at Triple-A Buffalo.
Bichette then suffered a broken hand in mid-April. But after returning to the lineup in June, he smacked out 18 extra-base hits and had a .331 average until falling into a slump just prior to his recall.
“I think I did a pretty good job of working hard and trying to get better,” Bichette said. “I think the last week I was there this last road trip it was a little bit difficult for me. I started to let (the lack of promotion) affect me a bit and started to think about things I shouldn’t. I just started trying a little bit too hard to push the envelope a little bit more. I’m just glad it’s over with and I get to finally start my journey.”
Bichette said he kept in constant contact with Biggio while in Buffalo.
“It was just a matter of time,” said Biggio. “I just told him just work on everything that you need to work on ’cause once you get up here, you’re going to be up here for a long time, so just make sure you got everything down in your game and once you come up here, just come up here and play.”
According to The Athletic, Bichette called his parents immediately after finding out he was headed to Toronto. They both were in Kansas City on Monday along with a bunch of friends. Ironically, Kansas City was the place Dante Bichette also made his debut for the Milwaukee Brewers following his September recall in 1988. He flied out to Bo Jackson in his first at-bat. He would later name his son after the Royals centerfielder.
“It was nice (for him) to get that first hit in that first at-bat, it takes the pressure off and it was great,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Everybody was happy for him and so was I. That was fun to watch.
“What I was thinking the whole time was that this was going to happen. That’s what I love about the job. The kids. The player development side of the kids getting better.”
Biggio, who has played right field, left field, first and second, is hitting .216, in 52 games with eight homers and 26 RBIs. Guerrero is hitting .259 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs in 77 games.