Saturday, January 7, 2012

Road to Yankee Stadium Top 10: #6 Dante Bichette Jr.

Dante Bichette Jr., 3B, GCL/LoA (SS)

Dante Bichette Jr. was the first round draft pick in last years MLB amateur draft.  Now for many players getting picked in the first round is enough for you to be listed as one of the top prospects in your system even if you did not have a great season.  That is not the case for Bichette.  After being taken with the #51 pick he signed quickly and was sent to the GCL.

Once in the GCL he got off to a slow start.  However, once he got comfortable he exploded.  In 52 games he hit .342 (2nd in the GCL) with 3 HRs, 17 doubles, 33 runs, and 47 RBIs (1st if GCL).  By the end of the season he was named the GCL MVP as well as a Topps and Baseball American All-Star.  Once he was finished leading the GCL Yankees to the GCL Championship he was sent up to Staten Island (LoA (SS)).  He played only 2 games there he went 1 for 7, with his only hit being a HR.  He was also on the Staten Island team that won the New York-Penn League title.  He is getting the taste of success very early in his career winning two league championships in his first professional season.

Going forward Bichette is the top non-catching infield prospect in the Yankees system and the only one in the top 10.  That is OK for the Yankees though as they have many long-term contracts in their infield.  However, once Alex Rodriguez gets old enough where he can only play 3rd base occasionally this might be the perfect time for Bichette to come up and take his place at 3rd.  As a first year player being drafted out of high school he is still a ways from the majors.  But if he keeps playing at the level he did this season in the GCL he could shoot through the minors.  If he keeps hitting he could be through the minors in 2-3 season.  That might be perfect timing to take over the full time 3rd base from A-Rod.  However, with him still being 19, and with only one professional season under his belt, a lot could happen between now and making the majors.  This kid has loads of potential and you should continue to hear his name the next few seasons as a top Yankees prospect.  

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