Dante Bichette, Jr.

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Alphonse Dante Bichette

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Biographical Information[edit]

Dante Bichette, Jr. was a first-round pick in 2011. His father Dante Bichette won the NL home run title in 1995 and brother Bo Bichette was drafted in 2016.

Bichette played in the 2005 Little League World Series, where his team was coached by former major leaguer Mike Stanley. He hit .640 with 10 home runs in 86 at-bats as a high school senior. Bichette was a shortstop in high school was projected as a 3B-OF.

The New York Yankees took him with the 51st pick of the 2011 amateur draft; it was New York's first pick that year. The choice was compensation for the loss of Javier Vázquez to free agency. He was signed by scout Jeff Deardorff for a bonus of $750,000, forgoing a University of Georgia commitment.

Bichette made his pro debut with GCL Yankees. In his first 13 games, he showed good walk ability (15 BB) and defense (no errors) but was making little contact - his line read .159/.371/.250. Things got better from there. He finished the season at .342/.446/.505 with 47 RBI in 52 games for the GCL Yankees, fielding .945 at third. He finished second in the Gulf Coast League in average (.013 behind Brandon Eckerle), led in doubles (17), led in RBI (7 ahead of Eric Arce), was second in total bases (9, two behind Juaner Aguasvivas), tied Seth Conner for 3rd in walks (30), was second in OBP (.014 behind Eckerle), was 8th in slugging and was 4th in OPS (between Isaias Tejada and Aguasvivas). He was named the GCL All-Star third baseman and MVP. He was named the leaguer's top prospect by Baseball America and as the Yankees' #6 prospect.

He slipped in 2012 with the Charleston RiverDogs, hitting .248/.322/.331 with only three home runs while fielding .938 at the hot corner. Baseball America put him down as New York's 21st-best prospect. Returning to the RiverDogs in 2013, his batting line fell further (to .214/.292/.331). 2014 was much better - he batted .271/.352/.410 with 27 doubles and 50 walks in 109 games for the Tampa Yankees and .224/.297/.313 in 18 games for the Trenton Thunder. For the year, he tied Greg Bird and Kyle Roller for third in the Yankees chain with 30 doubles, was 6th with 68 RBI (between Zoilo Almonte and Gary Sanchez) and tied Rob Segedin for 7th with 56 walks. He batted .260/.317/.274 for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.

2015 was another step backwards for Bichette - he hit .223/.287/.299 in 45 games for Tampa and .228/.266/.319 in 67 games for Trenton, with only 25 walks, 3 home runs and 27 runs on the year. He also was now splitting time between third base and first base, further reducing his value. He spent all of 2016 with the Thunder as a corner infielder, hitting .243/.342/.373 with 9 home runs and 53 walks. That year, his brother Bo followed his suit from five years ago and dominated the GCL.

The Bichette brothers were teammates on the Brazilian national team for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He played first base two games and split the other game between 3B and LF. He was one of Brazil's top stars, hitting cleanup, batting .400/.538/.700. He led the team in OBP (.076 ahead of Leonardo Reginatto) and OPS (94 ahead of JC Muniz) and was second in total bases (7, one behind Muniz), slugging (.027 behind Muniz) and average (.017 behind Reginatto). Brazil fell short in its bid for a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, though.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Sources: MLB Draft Guide, MILB.com, 2016 Yankees Media Guide, Baseball America, World Baseball Classic