Through the month of March, leading up to MLB Opening Day on April 1,
Sports Spectrum is highlighting 21 Christ-following players to watch in 2021.
After two seasons in the majors, but neither one of them a full schedule, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette hopes this is the year he firmly establishes himself at the highest level.
The 23-year-old, who was a second-round pick out of high school in the 2016 MLB Draft, made his big-league debut in July 2019, and did so quite impressively. He started with an 11-game hitting streak, set a major league record with at least one double in nine consecutive games, and added four home runs to the nine doubles to become the first player with 12 extra-base hits through his first 11 games.
In the midst of that streak, Bichette praised God, saying on Instagram, “What a week so far. God is good!”
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He finished 2019 with a .311 batting average in 46 games and 212 plate appearances, and carried the strong slugging into 2020. Through Toronto’s first 14 games, Bichette was hitting .361 with an OPS at 1.063.
In the 15 games following his return nearly a month later, however, his OPS was .620. He finished the season with a .301 batting average.
“I was healthy enough to produce at a higher level than I did,” Bichette told reporters two weeks ago when he reported for spring training. “I think you can learn from everything, and I think I learned from it and I attacked the offseason to the best of my ability. I think it went really well, so I’m excited to see how the season goes and [I’m] excited to get started.”
The son of Dante Bichette, who was a four-time All-Star with the Colorado Rockies, Bo is a key piece the Blue Jays plan to build around. The team finished third in the AL East last season, which earned them a Wild Card Series with Tampa Bay, which swept the Jays in two games and advanced all the way to the World Series. Toronto expects to reach the postseason again this year.
George Springer and Marcus Semien were a couple of the big names the Blue Jays acquired in the offseason, and Semien was an interesting addition considering he’d exclusively played shortstop the previous six seasons. But the Blue Jays assured Bichette that shortstop was his position, and Semien has been moved to second base.
Throughout his rise in the majors, Bichette often shares about his faith on social media. He lists Philippians 4:6 in his Instagram bio, a verse that reads, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Recent posts of Bichette’s have included Proverbs 9:10, Romans 8:18 and 1 Corinthians 9:24. He’s also a fan of The Unashamed Brand, which states the “work of Jesus Christ and promoting confidence in the gospel is essential to our lifestyle” and is based on Romans 1:16.
“He’s with us through the good and the bad,” Bichette said in an Instagram post in May. “Our only job is to trust in Him and love others.”
— Toronto Blue Jays rookie Bo Bichette enjoying MLB debut for the ages
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