Bichette has been able to stay in shape in part by doing drills and working out with his father, four-time All-Star outfielder Dante Bichette, Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports. "Most of the time he's throwing me (batting practice), but every once in a while he actually pitches to me, so we'll get the Little League field distance and he'll throw it as hard as he can to try and get me out. That's when it gets a little bit intense and a little bit competitive," Bichette said about the workouts with his pop. The 22-year-old figures to be ready to go right away once spring training resumes.
Bichette went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Phillies. The young shortstop is still trying to consistently find his rhythm at the plate, but Bichette has hardly been slumping this spring, slashing .261/.346/.609 through 26 plate appearances with half of his hits (two homers and a triple) going for extra bases. He'll hit at or near the top of the order for the Jays this season as he looks to match or even build upon the .929 OPS he put together in his big-league debut last year.
Bichette is expected to begin the season hitting leadoff, followed by Cavan Biggio and Vlad Guerrero Jr., Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports. It's a little unusual for a manager to be setting his regular-season batting order this early, but given the nature of the Jays roster it's no surprise that Charlie Montoyo plans to put his trio of talented youngsters right at the top. Hitting leadoff should afford Bichette plenty of stolen-base opportunities, but he'll need to improve on his 4-for-8 performance in the majors last year if he wants to see consistent green lights.
The Blue Jays plan to give Bichette a heavy workload at shortstop in 2020, so much that they don't intend to carry a true shortstop as his backup, Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports. Brandon Drury will be used as a super-utility player and represents Bichette's most likely backup. In addition to the full-time role he'll handle at shortstop, Bichette is projected to serve as the Blue Jays' leadoff man, as manager Charlie Montoyo tabbed him as the favorite for those duties Sunday, per Hazel Mae of Sportsnet.
Bichette's offseason is going well, and he's no longer experiencing concussion symptoms, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. Bichette's strong rookie season ended prematurely in mid-September after he was hit in the head by a pitch. He finished his first big-league campaign with a .311/.358/.571 line in 46 games, homering 11 times and doubling 18 more. He's expected to progress to full workouts soon and should have plenty of time to get up to full speed by the start of spring training.