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Bichette began his day with a perfect 4-for-4 performance in the opener. Two of those hits went for extra bases, as the 19-year-old shortstop tallied a run-scoring double in the third inning before connecting on his seventh homer of the season, a solo shot to left field, in the sixth. It was his second four-hit game of the season, both coming this month.
Bichette picked up right where he’d left off in the nightcap, tallying a single in the first inning followed by a two-run double in the third. Though he’d strike out in his next at-bat, Bichette came right back to record his third hit and third RBI of the game in his final trip to the plate.
“I’m really just trying to stay with my approach and my routine every day,” Bichette told MiLB.com. “I’m trying to be aggressive and watch how the pitchers attack me every day, but it’s a tough thing to be aggressive and smart at the same time.
“I’ve had some good streaks before, but not against competition like this obviously. I’m learning a lot this year, and trusting myself a little more every day. I just want to keep getting better and continue to be the same player and person every day. Routines are king, so it’s important to keep with it and learn as much as I can.”
What Bichette, Toronto’s second-round Draft pick in 2016, has done so far in his first full season is simply remarkable. Through 54 games, he’s leading the Midwest League in all three triple-slash categories (.400/.468/.645) as well as doubles (27) and hits (88). He also ranks second in the circuit in both runs scored (48) and RBIs (44)
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday
• No. 12 overall prospect Rafael Devers (Red Sox’s No. 1) went 2-for-4 with a solo home run on Thursday — his second straight game with a home run — to account for Double-A Portland’s lone run in a loss against Altoona. The 20-year-old third baseman has now hit a career-high 12 home runs in 57 games this season, surpassing his previous high-water mark of 11 which he achieved in both 2015-16 over twice as many games.
• No. 52 overall prospect Alex Verdugo (Dodgers’ No. 2) and Willie Calhoun (No. 71 overall, Dodgers’ No. 3) went a combined 5-for-8 with three extra-base hits and four runs scored as Triple-A Oklahoma City fell to Omaha, 15-11. Calhoun connected on his 14th home run and later added a triple before finishing 2-for-4, while the 21-year-old Verdugo tallied three hits including a double out of the leadoff spot. He improved his average to .322 with the performance and now has hit safely in seven straight games.
• No. 66 overall prospect Mike Soroka (Braves’ No. 4) tossed seven more scoreless frames for Double-A Mississippi, giving him 22 straight scoreless innings spanning his last three starts. The 19-year-old righty allowed just three hits, issued one walk and struck out five in the outing while also generating nine ground-ball outs. He’s now 8-3 with a 2.23 ERA in 13 starts.
“[Soroka is] calm and doesn’t panic. He continues to pitch the way he wants in those situations,” Mississippi pitching coach Derrick Lewis told MiLB.com. “He has a gameplan when they have runners in scoring position. He doesn’t speed up or rush or make quick pitches. He just goes about his business. Nothing really changes whether there’s someone on or if it’s the first pitch of the inning.”
• Ryan McMahon has quickly taken a liking to hitting in the Pacific Cost League. The Rockies’ No. 5 prospect connected on a pair of home runs, hitting a solo shot in the fifth inning followed by a game-tying two-run homer in the seventh, going 4-for-4 overall with four RBIs for Triple-A Albuquerque. He extended his hitting streak to nine games in the process — seven of which have been of the multi-hit variety — and he’s now batting .404 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 13 games since being promoted from Double-A.
• Astros No. 7 prospect Teoscar Hernandez drove in four with a pair of home runs for Triple-A Fresno. It was the first multi-homer game of the season for the 24-year-old outfielder, who has now accomplished the feat seven times in his seven-year career.
• White Sox No. 10 prospect Alec Hansen recorded his third double-digit strikeout game in his last five starts in the nightcap of Class A Kannapolis’ doubleheader against Hagerstown. The 6-foot-7 right-hander fanned 10 over six innings while allowing one earned run (solo homer) on two hits and one walk. Hansen, who now has 50 strikeouts over his last 30 innings, is leading the South Atlantic League with 92 strikeouts (in 72 2/3 innings, a 11.4 K/9 rate).
• Pirates No. 13 prospect Luis Escobar lowered his ERA to 3.71 while striking out seven batters over five scoreless frames in Class A West Virginia’s win over Charleston. The 21-year-old righty threw 51 of his 79 pitches for strikes, scattering three hits and walking one. He’s held opposing hitters to a .214 average over 63 innings this season and ranks second among South Atlantic League hurlers with 84 strikeouts (12.0 K/9).
• Indians No. 16 prospect Shawn Morimando went the distance for Triple-A Columbus en route to his first career shutout and third complete game. The left-hander allowed five hits over nine innings with three walks, two strikeouts and 12 ground-ball outs. He’s allowed two earned runs in his last 22 2/3 innings (three starts).
• Making his Double-A debut, Yankees No. 20 prospect Zack Littell recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts while allowing one unearned run on two hits and three walks in seven innings. The 21-year-old righty was dominant during his time with Class A Advanced Tampa before the promotion, going 8-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 12 outings (10 starts). He owns a 0.66 ERA in 41 innings over his last six starts between the two levels.
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