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New York Yankees Prospect Watch: No. 9 Dante Bichette Jr.

February 28th, 2013 at 8:08 AM
By Karen Vankat

Being a top prospect in the New York Yankees organization is tough enough to live up to never mind being the son of an ex-Major Leaguer. Dante Bichette Jr. has handled all the criticism and speculation professionally.

Bichette was selected in the second round (51st overall pick) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Orangewood Christian High School in Maitland, Florida. The original scouting report out of Baseball America was an unflattering one at best saying his early competitive advantage being the son of a former Major Leaguer would erode as he moved through the system. Three months later this same outfit re-labled Bichette Jr. as having plus-plus power (35+ homer runs) and favorably scouting reports regarding his bat. In 2011 he was named Gulf Coast MVP and helped lead the Charleston River Dogs to the Gulf Coast League Championship. In 2011 he finished with a .335 batting average and had 48 RBIs in 52 games with an OBP at .440.

'Rule of Thirds' photo (c) 2008, Stuart Seeger - license:

2012 was a down year for Dante where in 122 games hit just .248 with 46 RBIs and nearly doubled his strikeout total with 94. Bichette Jr. is still in the developing phase and too pan him after 1 1/2 seasons in the Minor Leagues is unfair. Bichette is a work in progress and the young 20 year old has started to master the hot corner with his strong arm and good baseball instincts showing he is more than capable of handling the position at the Major League level.

Scouts project his ceiling to be a .290+ hitter with above average power and above average defensive ability which can make him one of the top future third baseman in the league.

For someone so young the rave is about his advanced batting eye, patience at the plate and his impressive bat speed allowing for power and line drives. Being a dead pull right handed hitter the skinny is the Yankees organization would like him to use all fields and spray the ball around more. Dante's work ethic is superior to most his age and this drive and determination will help him advance through the farm system in his march to the Bronx.

Bichette will probably start again in Charleston hoping to move up to Double-A Trenton Thunder before the 2013 season concludes. Projected ETA to the Major League level is all on him looking at 2015 with continued progression. May be eventual successor to Alex Rodriguez at third base in the not so distant future.

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Tags: Baseball, Charleston River Dogs, Dante Bichette Jr., MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Trenton Thunder

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