Montoyo praises Bichette's fire to reach Majors

July 18th, 2019

BOSTON -- In a season when and have made their Major League debuts, another Blue Jays top prospect is eager for the opportunity.

Bo Bichette, the organization's No. 1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has been making a strong case for himself at Triple-A Buffalo. The 21-year-old infielder is batting .309 with seven home runs, 30 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 46 games.

On Tuesday, Bichette expressed his preparedness to play in the Majors and his uncertainty as to why he hasn't received the call yet.

"Yeah, I've done everything they asked me to do," Bichette told Sportsnet. "I've performed, I've put up numbers. I've gotten better offensively, defensively, baserunning, as an athlete, as a teammate. Everything they've asked me to do, I've done for the past three years. So if I'm not ready in their mind, there's something new that they need to tell me I need to get better at."

When asked about Bichette's comments on Wednesday, Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo viewed them as a positive. The Blue Jays' roster is filled with determined young talent, and Bichette fits that mold.

"I love [the confidence]," Montoyo said. "That's what makes that kid good."

Montoyo got a glimpse into Bichette's attitude earlier this year. A conversation in Florida stands out to him months later.

"In Spring Training when I first talked to him, I said, 'Just have fun,'" Montoyo recalled. "He said, 'No, I'm competing for a job here.' I was like, 'OK, good.' That's just who he is. I love it. He's not doing it because he's cocky. He's just confident. You've got to have that to play in the big leagues. You don't want to take that away from the kid."

Montoyo has been receiving feedback on Bichette from Bisons manager Bobby Meacham, who praised Bichette's arm, baserunning and play at shortstop on Tuesday. The Blue Jays already have shortstop occupied by veteran Freddy Galvis, who is hitting .345 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in his last 29 games. Recognizing the value both players could contribute, Montoyo would work around the logjam in the infield if it presented itself.

"I'm pretty good playing everybody, so I'll find room for both of them," Montoyo said. "I'll have a talk with Freddy about it, because he's [such] a steady guy that I don't even ask if he wants a day off. He's just there every day. … One time [I asked Galvis], 'Do you want a day off tomorrow?' He smiles, because he gets prepared every day to play every day. These kids are watching it, the [Lourdes] Gurriels, the Vlads, and Freddy's a good example of how to take care of himself to play every day."


In the meantime, Montoyo, who had an award-winning career as a Minor League manager, wants Bichette -- and all prospects -- to stay focused on the game at hand in Buffalo.

"From what I've seen, the moment you start worrying about here, they forget about there and their numbers go down," Montoyo said. "I've seen that all the time in Triple-A."