DUNEDIN, Fla. – Bo Bichette’s ultimate goal is to be the best player who’s ever walked on earth.
Such a statement may sound lofty coming from a player who just turned 19, but these are undertones of quiet confidence and not precocious hubris that colour the Blue Jays shortstop prospect’s words.
Many know Bichette, drafted by the Jays in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft, as the son of former major leaguer Dante Bichette, but it’s his mother and brother who have kept him grounded in a dizzying baseball world.
“My mom is the hardest working person I know,” said the soft-spoken infielder, speaking about his upcoming season on a Thursday afternoon. “I was in my 10-year old All Star Game in Florida and my brother was playing in Georgia.
“She wanted to come watch me so bad that she drove from Georgia to Florida just to see my game.”
His older brother, Dante Bichette Jr., is a 2011 first round pick of the New York Yankees, and his experience has been invaluable for the younger Bichette.
“He’s a really good brother. He’s not like some other big brothers, you know,” Bichette said, laughing.
“He’s been the best player in his league one year, not so good the next year, and dealt with a lot of adversity and success so far in his career. I’ve learned a lot from him on how to handle that and stay positive through it all.”
That support and mentorship from his entire family has been crucial in building the confidence that’s allowed Bichette to thrive at every level despite an unconventional swing.
“As a baseball player I’m considered unorthodox in the way I play, so a lot of people try to change who I am, the way I play,” said Bichette. “It’s definitely a fine line between being disrespectful and respectful, and how to say no.
“I’m lucky that I got to learn from my dad and my brother — they both had to go through the same stuff.”
However quickly Bo Bichette reaches his sky-high goals, his baseball family will always be there to keep him grounded as he swings for the stars.