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Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Toronto needs a healthy Bo Bichette in 2024

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Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
It’s not unfair to say that Bo Bichette is the Blue Jays’ best position player.
This is the 40-man Roster Review, in which we’re going to take a look back at each player on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster, and how they performed in 2023, as well as their outlook for 2024.
If you can recall, Bichette did not have a good 2022 season until the end of August. In fact, on August 20, 2022, Bichette was slashing just .256/.295/.420 with 17 homers in 511 plate appearances for a 104 wRC+. Hardly what you want to see from your superstar player.
However, the shortstop finished his season slashing .386/.435/.608 with seven homers in 186 plate appearances for a 201 wRC+, pushing the Jays into the playoffs for the first time since 2020, and the first time in a full season since 2016.
While Bichette didn’t hit that well for the 2023 season, he was one of the best players with the bat for the Jays, as he slashed .306/.339/.475 with 20 homers in 601 plate appearances for a 125 wRC+ and 3.8 fWAR (compared to a 4.5 fWAR in 2022, and 5.1 fWAR in 2021). It’s worth mentioning that Bichette suffered a knee injury, as well as a quad injury at points in his season.
Fangraphs’ Steamer projects that Bichette will slash .292/.335/.480 with 24 home runs in 671 plate appearances for a 124 wRC+ and a 4.2 fWAR, along with a 5.7 BB% and a 19.4 K%.
It’s evident that Bichette is one of the best hitting shortstops in the league, but his defence also improved quite a lot in 2023. In 2022, he had an abysmal -16 Defensive Runs Saved and -7 Outs Above Average in 1374.1 innings played at shortstop. His DRS improved to 5, which tied his career-best, while his -2 OAA was his second-best total for his career.
Bichette’s defensive improvement isn’t just noticeable in terms of stats, because you can tell that he has learned to take his time with throws. The improvement of the internal clock is one of the last things to come for a shortstop’s defence, and Bichette is now a competent defender at one of the most valuable positions in baseball.
Sadly, Bichette only has two seasons left on his contract before it is presumed that he hits free agency. At this point, I think it’s safe to say that if you were going to give a $300 million + contract to either one of Bichette or Vladimir Guerrero Jr., you’d have to pick Bichette.
With that being said, hopefully he remains healthy, hits well, and helps lead this team to playoff success in 2024.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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