Cats' Bichette belts way to EL hits lead

Blue Jays No. 2 prospect tops Vlad Jr. with homer, two doubles

Bo Bichette sports a .285/.352/.458 slash line with seven home runs and 40 RBIs this year. (David Monseur/

By Chris Bumbaca / | June 25, 2018 10:41 PM

Even though Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been sidelined for nearly three weeks, his name remained atop the Eastern League's leaderboard for hits until Monday, when Double-A New Hampshire teammate Bo Bichette surpassed him. 

The second-ranked Blue Jays prospect eclipsed Guerrero Jr. by two with a 3-for-4 showing to give him 85 hits this season. Bichette homered, doubled twice, scored three times and drove in two runs in the Fisher Cats' 8-6 loss to the Sea Dogs on Monday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. 

Video: Bichette hammers a two-run shot for New Hampshire

The 20-year-old mashed a double to center field on an 0-1 offering from Portland starter Dedgar Jimenez during his first at-bat of the game. Toronto's 19th-ranked prospect, Cavan Biggio, followed with his league-leading 16th long ball of the season. 

In the third, Bichette worked a favorable 3-1 count against Jimenez. On a pitch over the outer part of the plate, the right-handed hitter stayed back and launched his seventh homer of the season -- a two-run shot -- over the right-field wall. 

Gameday box score

The 2016 second-round Draft pick battled to a full count against Sea Dogs reliever Trevor Kelley to lead off the sixth and swatted a double to left on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. He then swiped his 20th stolen bag of the season and scored on Biggio's groundout to first base. 

Bichette flew out to center with one man on and nobody out in the eighth. 

The Orlando, Florida native's performance pushed his OPS to .810 on the season. Bichette and Biggio are tied for fourth in the league with 32 extra-base hits apiece. The son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio also leads the circuit in RBIs with 60. 

Tate Matheny clubbed a grand slam for his first Double-A homer and Chad De La Guerra plated three runs and scored twice to pace Portland.

Chris Bumbaca is a contributor for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @BOOMbaca. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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