Yankees Prospect Dante Bichette Jr Following In His Father’s Footsteps
The MLB Talk 101 continued its Offseason 101 series. This time with hosts Brian Danuff and Gershon Rabinowitz at the helm. The duo sat down with a New York Yankees prospect whose MLB pedigree brings smiles to the faces of those who grew up watching baseball during the 90’s. The prospect was none other than Dante Bichette Jr. (DBJ), the son of 4-time All Star and run producing machine Dante Bichette. Junior was a very humble guy and it was great getting to know him. We learned a whole lot about who he is on and off the field. Let’s get right into it.
Dante was born and raised in the Sunshine State. He has been on the baseball map since the age of 12, when his team represented the United State’s Southeast region during the 2005 Little League World Series. Dante and current Texas Ranger up and comer Jurickson Profar, who played for Curacao, were stand outs during the tourney. From there, he went on to play high school ball at Orangewood Christian High School in Maitland, FL. After putting up gaudy numbers as a senior (including a batting average over .600) the New York Yankees selected the power-hitting third baseman in the first round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. It’s easy to see what the Bronx Bombers liked in this kid; whether it is his 6’ 1” 215 lb frame, his outstanding work ethic, or his blood lines to the pro game, via his father.
Dante hit the ground running to start his professional career. He tore up the Gulf Coast League hitting at a .342 clip with 23 extra base hits (17 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs), 47 runs batted in, and a .446 on base percentage in just 196 at bats. This performance earned him league MVP honors and a whole lot of praise from the Yankees organization and fans. While 2011 could not have been better, the now 21 year old experienced some growing pains in the following two years. In full seasons with the Charleston River Dogs he has not been able to repeat his performance at the plate when it comes to average (he failed to hit above .250). However, his power and ability to drive in runs is still very much part of his game as evidenced by his 11 home runs and 61 runs batted in during 2013. He has made adjustments at the plate, but really thinks that getting back to being himself and locking down his swing is the best medicine. He admitted to “listening a little too much” to what others had to say and that he should’ve “tried to take the good with the bad instead of taking everything and trying to people please”. To me, this response showed both poise and maturity. He knows exactly what he needs to do to become an all around contributor again.
When he is not on the diamond Bichette does a number of things to occupy his time. He does a lot of things with his family and close friends; whether it’s playing Call of Duty with his brother, doing Yoga with his mom, spending the day at the beach, or hanging out and watching movies with his girlfriend. He’s a typical young adult who loves doing all the same things we love to do. These traits make him that much more likeable as a person and ball player.
DBJ has the pedigree, work ethic, and raw tools (namely a powerful swing from the right side) to succeed at the highest level. It is only a matter of time until he puts everything together. The current number 15 prospect in the Yankees system is looking forward to 2014. He states that he is “Working harder than ever…..harder than he ever thought he could” to prepare. He credits his dad quite a bit in helping him with his preparation saying “Everything I know and am learning, he’s taught me” and that the two are, “Still learning together”. I have a good feeling that when all is said and done this kid will not only honor his family name, but create a legacy all his own.