Below is a quick write-up on observations about Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio from 8/19, when their New Hampshire Fisher Cats faced the Trenton Thunder. Each had five at-bats. Bichette played second base, while Biggio played first. In addition, there’s a transcript of my game notes after the write-up.
Neither player had an electrifying night. Their performances didn’t resemble what makes their scouting reports glow. Rather, what they demonstrated were skills that could keep them in the Majors when they’re not filling the box score or even slumping.
Bichette and Biggio each demonstrated three things that stuck out: an ability to take a pitch, an ability to attack early, and an ability to spot breakers. They did these things in separate at-bats and appeared to have a plan for each plate appearance. They also seemed to balance what they wanted to do with what they were getting from opposing pitchers.
My general sense was that they were the most advanced players on the field for either team. Aside from their recognition and planning at the plate, they each did something small that would reinforce the sense I got that they can do the little things that will keep them in the Majors if they’re not hitting the lights out. Bichette made a nice sliding play on defense, going toward second base on a shift and making the throw to first to get the out. Biggio busted out of the box on a dropped third strike in his first AB. He was thrown out, but he got there faster than it seemed anyone anticipated.
The two of them simply had a different presence than everyone else that night. Between the two of them and Vlad Jr., it’s easy to see the tiers of talent that are needed to make a winning club on the precipice of breaking into MLB.
Transcripted game notes:
Bichette’s 1st AB:
Didn’t wait; drove a single up the middle on the 1st pitch.
Didn’t get anything to drive, but battled like hell. Eventually worked the count full and, after a bunch of foul balls, whiffed on a high fastball.
Battled again, a little less, but showed a repeated ability to get the barrel to the ball. Lined out to right.
Faced all breaking pitches. Walked.
Only saw two pitches; singled through a hole on the left side. May not have gotten through and MLB defender.
Biggio’s 1st AB:
Attacked the first pitch, much like Bichette. Took next three pitches. Count was 2-2; whiffs, play to 1st on the dropped third strike. *Very* quick to 1st.
Struck out after taking what he thought was ball four
Waited back for his pitch, grounded to 2nd
Scorched one to deep center. Caught the CF off-guard; he slipped. Doubled and took third after the fielder fell; drove in Bichette.
Four pitch walk.
Feature photo from USA Today Sports