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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Bo Bichette

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v. Minnesota Twins - Game Two Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

We should pretty much know Bo Bichette by now. Well, I don’t know why he hasn’t been in a shampoo commercial yet.

He was our second-round draft pick in 2016. He made it up to the Jays in 2019 and has been our full-time shortstop for the past three and a half seasons (in 2020, he played 29 of 60 games).

Bo’s bat has stretches where he is terrific and stretches where he isn’t, but he pretty much ends up in about the same place at the end of the season. For the last four years, he’s had OPS+ numbers of 127, 121, 128 and 123. He’s even consistent in getting MVP votes, finishing 12th, 11th and 16th in the voting over the past three seasons.

In 2022, he started slow (well, more than started slow; at the end of August, he was hitting .260/.305/.420), but then had one of the best Septembers in team history, hitting .406/.444/.662, bringing his season numbers up to .290/.333/.469.

In 2023, Bo did much the opposite, starting hot (he was hitting .333/.370/.525 at the end of May and .321/.352/.494 at the end of July), but then there was an injury and a slump, and his numbers balanced out at .306/.339/.475, basically his career numbers.

Overall, it is much smarter to start great. People will be slow to notice that you’ve dropped off. If you asked 100 Jays fans, 90% would say he was better in 2023 than in 2022, but fWAR had him at a 4.5 in 2022 and 3.8 in 2023.

One part of his game that improved in 2023 was his defense. In 2022, he had a -27.6 UZR/150 (worst in the AL for shortstops by far); in 2023, it was +4.6. He went from 23 errors in 2022 (and 24 in 2021) to 8 in 2023.

Bo put in a lot of work between the two seasons. He’s athletic enough to be a reasonable shortstop. In the past, he seemed to get errors in bunches. And he did again last season; there were longer breaks between ‘bunches.’ His last error happened on June 24th, going his last 52 games without an error.

FanGraphs has him as a below-average base runner over the last couple of seasons. He runs well, but he makes some mistakes between the bases (but that could be said about many of our players).

Thankfully, we didn’t hear as much about his two-strike approach last season. He is .210/.247/.275 after two strikes, right about his career numbers. After a full count, he hit .214/.400/.286 last year. The league hit .183/.447/.314 with a full count.

I am waiting for the team to sign him to a long-term extension. we know the player he is, and he’s just 25 (26 in March), so I wouldn’t expect a decline anytime soon. Consistency must be his middle name. Let’s get him signed (they did sign him for his last two arbitration. years).

This is stuff I can understand. I tend to be streaky with anything I do.

Bo is 43rd in games played on the Blue Jays list. 150 games would get him about 33rd. And he’s 17th in bWAR for position players. A 4.6 this year would get him into the top ten.

PECOTA predicts Bo to hit .283/.326/.448 with 21 home runs in 145 games.

Steamer: .292/.335/.480 in 149 games, with 25 home runs.

ZiPS .292/.333/.471 in 150 games with 24 home runs.

Poll

If the over/under on Bo’s home runs is 23 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Over
    (267 votes)
  • 21%
    Under
    (71 votes)
338 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Bo’s 2023 bWAR will be

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Under 3
    (3 votes)
  • 19%
    3.0 to 3.9
    (62 votes)
  • 61%
    4.0 to 4.9
    (194 votes)
  • 11%
    5.0 to 5.9
    (38 votes)
  • 6%
    Over 6
    (20 votes)
317 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Three years from now Bichette will

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Be a Blue Jay.
    (201 votes)
  • 13%
    Have been traded to another team.
    (47 votes)
  • 29%
    Will have signed somewhere else was a free agent.
    (106 votes)
354 votes total Vote Now