By his own admission, patience is not one of Bo Bichette's strong suits. The good news is that the 21-year-old won't have to wait too much longer to return to the Minors' highest level.
After collecting four hits in the nightcap of a doubleheader for Class A Advanced Dunedin on Tuesday, the top Blue Jays prospect said he'll rejoin Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday when the Bisons conclude a three-game series in Indianapolis.
"I'm really looking forward to getting back there, just getting back with the team and the coaches there and just try to keep getting better," he said. "My goal is to get to the big leagues and, hopefully, I'll perform well enough once I'm back there to get a chance."
Bichette appeared in both games of the twinbill for the Blue Jays, lacing a double in a 2-0 win in the opener before going 4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI as Dunedin blanked Florida, 11-0, at Osceola County Stadium. With the sweep, the D-Jays clinched the Florida State League North Division first-half title.
"It was a good day. I'm feeling confident," Bichette said. "My focus here has been to get my rhythm and my timing back, and I feel good right now. There's still room to get better, but I don't think it will ever be perfect. You can always get better, and that's what I'm trying to do every single day. But this was definitely a step in the right direction."
Gameday box score: Game 1 | Game 2
In Game 2, MLB.com's No. 8 overall prospect got the scoring started with an RBI double to right field on a full-count offering from right-hander Matt Withrow in the first inning. His stay on the basepaths didn't last long as Christopher Bec followed with a two-run double to cap the three-run outburst.
After knocking a base hit up the middle with one out in the third, Bichette scored two batters later on a single by Norberto Obeso to give the Blue Jays a 4-0 advantage.
Reliever Sean McLaughlin froze the 2016 second-round pick with a 2-2 pitch in the fourth, but Bichette won a seven-pitch battle with the righty an inning later by lining a two-out single to center to extend the frame. Bec drove in Dunedin's final run with a bloop single to left.
Bichette stepped in against Bradley Roney with two outs in the seventh and hammered a first-pitch heater from the right-hander the other way for a single to right.
The 6-foot, 185-pound shortstop missed roughly six weeks of game action after suffering a broken left hand during a game with the Bisons on April 22. In four rehab games in the Florida State League, Bichette went 6-for-11 (.545) with a pair of doubles, five walks, four runs scored and an RBI.
"The time away was tough. It was tough to have patience with it," he said. "But it went pretty well. There was some soreness in the beginning when I first started getting going again, but it didn't last very long and I got back to 100 percent pretty quickly. And I'm just excited now with how well things have gone and how I progressed to this point."
Bichette opened the year with Buffalo -- his first season at Triple-A -- and posted a .245/.317/.396 slash line with five extra-base hits, eight RBIs and eight runs scored in 15 games. He was riding an eight-game hitting streak before being struck on the hand and going on the injured list.
"I try not to focus on the past; I keep my focus on the next at-bat," he said. "You never know. Every day is different and a chance to get better and start over."
Joey Murray (3-1) took a perfect game into the fifth in the nightcap before issuing a five-pitch walk to Drew Lugbauer. The right-hander yielded his first hit three batters later when Shean Michel lined a one-out single to right. Murray limited the damage and was pulled after allowing one hit and two walks while fanning six over five innings. Kyle Weatherly and Dany Jimenez each tossed an inning and combined for four strikeouts to complete the shutout.
2019 MiLB include
Bec finished with three knocks, drove in three runs and scored once. Blue Jays No. 26 prospect Kevin Vicuna hit an RBI single in the third, doubled, walked and scored. Demi Orimoloye laced a two-run double as every starter in the lineup collected at least one hit.
In Game 1, Bichette ripped a double to left off righty Nolan Kingham. The Florida native said he opted not to celebrate with the team after the 2-0 division clincher, although the moment brought back some fond memories.
"I didn't really celebrate with them because I didn't want to intrude, it's not my team," he said. "So I just sat back and watched them get excited. It's a special thing to clinch the playoffs in baseball because you don't really get to do it a lot, so it was cool to watch them celebrate. It was kind of reminiscent of when we clinched last year at Double-A."