Bo Bichette continues his record-setting start to his Major League career in Blue Jays win over Tampa Bay on Monday
One more game into his Major League career and Bo Bichette, rookie shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays, continues to set records.
Bichette’s home run off a Charlie Morton curveball in the third inning on Monday at Tropicana Field was the third of his young career that is now just eight games in. Morton had surrendered just one home run off a curveball all season, but even the Rays’ Cy Young candidate couldn’t cool down the emerging Blue Jays’ superstar.
Bichette joined Carlos Delgado as the only Blue Jays to hit three home runs in their first eight career games. But that wasn’t the only piece of history Bichette, playing in the city where he starred at Lakewood High School, set on this night.
He opened the game with a leadoff double, extending his doubles streak to six straight games. That gave him nine extra-base hits in his career. In MLB history, only Alvin Davis (1984) and Trevor Story (2016) had ever started their career with that many extra-base hits. Bichette also now has 15 hits, the most in Blue Jays franchise history to start a career.
Bichette finished the game, a 2-0 shutout of Tampa Bay, with two hits in four at-bats and is now hitting .417. He has at least one hit in all eight games he’s played since being called up on July 29 with six multi-hit games.
The 21-year-old Bichette was highly touted, the eighth-best prospect in baseball and excepted the form the core of the Blue Jays rebuild along with fellow rookies Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio. But this kind of start? That’s something that wasn’t expected. Bichette hit just .090 in his final eight games at Triple-A Buffalo and was hitless in his last 13 at-bats. He expressed some frustration earlier in July that he was still in in the minors, but after the trade of Eric Sogard to the Rays opened up a spot in the Blue Jays infield, Bichette hasn’t looked back.
As Bichette has gotten hot, so has the entire Blue Jays lineup. Toronto leads the Majors with 18 home runs and 47 runs scored since July 29. They are second to the Rays in weighted runs created and slugging percentage in that span, and fourth in batting average.
Guerrero, unlike Bichette off to a sluggish start to his career, has been playing like the once-in-a-generation type prospect he was pegged to be in the last nine days. Since July 27, Guerrero leads baseball with 18 RBI and is behind only Atlanta’s Adam Duvall with four home runs. He also has the best batting average among players with at least 20 plate appearances.
Behind their young stars, the Blue Jays have won six of their last eight games. The 2019 season hasn’t been one of many highlights for this up-and-coming club, who at 46-69 are 28 games out in the AL East, but with the way Bichette and Guerrero are playing right now, the future looks bright in Toronto.