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Getting to CHS Field

Dante's Inferno: Saints Sign Former Yankees First Rounder, Infielder Bichette Jr.

ST. PAUL, MN April 2, 2018

The St. Paul Saints may have found the last piece to their infield puzzle and it comes in the form of a former first round pick whose father played 14-seasons in the Major Leagues.  Dante Bichette Jr., who has spent all seven of his professional seasons in the New York Yankees organization, signed with the Saints on Monday.

 

          The 25-year-old Bichette Jr. spent all of last season at Double-A Trenton where he hit .262 with four home runs and 33 RBI in 72 games.  In 244 at bats he scored 27 runs, had eight doubles, one triple, a .352 on base percentage, and a .352 slugging percentage.  He reached base safely in 17 consecutive road games from June 21-August 1 and the Thunder reached the Championship Series in the Eastern League, but lost three-games-to-none to the Altoona Curve.

 

          Bichette Jr. was a first round compensatory pick (51st overall) by the Yankees in 2011 out of Orangewood Christian (FL) High School.  He took the Yankees organization by storm hitting .342 with three home runs and 47 RBI in 52 games with the Gulf Coast Yankees.  In 196 at bats he scored 33 runs, roped 17 doubles, three triples, a .446 on base percentage, and a .505 slugging percentage.  He recorded a 16-game hitting streak, the second longest in the league, from July 12-August 1.  Bichette Jr. also had the third longest on base streak, reaching base safely in 25 consecutive games from June 30-August 11.  During his hitting streak he had a five-game multi-hit streak and a four-game multi-hit streak.  Overall, 12 of the 16 games during the streak were multi-hits.  He helped guide the GCL Yankees to the Gulf Coast League Championship with a two-games-to-one win over the GCL Marlins.  He finished 1st in the league in hits (67), RBI, doubles, and fielding percentage among third baseman (.945), 2nd in batting average, total bases (99), T2nd in extra base hits (23), and T3rd in walks. All those numbers added up to a litany of awards including the MVP of the GCL.  He was also named a GCL Post-Season All-Star, MiLB.com GCL Player of the Month for July, MiLB.com Organizational All-Star, TOPPS Short-Season/Rookie All-Star and Baseball America Rookie All-Star.

 

          In 2012 Bichette Jr. spent the entire season with the Single-A Charleston RiverDogs where he hit .248 with three home runs and 46 RBI in 54 games.  In 203 at bats he scored a career high 67 runs, slugged 24 doubles, three triples, a .322 on base percentage, and .331 slugging percentage.  He finished first in the league in total chances by a third baseman (336), putouts (85) and assists (230).

 

          Bichette Jr. began the 2013 season as the ninth best prospect in the Yankees organization by MLB.com.  He once again spent the entire season in Charleston and hit .214 with a career high 11 home runs and 61 RBI in 114 games.  His season was highlighted by a 10-game hitting streak from May 15-24.

 

          In 2014 Bichette Jr. split time between High-A Tampa and Trenton.  He had one the best overall power seasons of his career hitting a combined .264 with 10 home runs and a career high 68 RBI in 127 games, 109 at Tampa and 18 in Trenton.  In 469 at bats he crushed a career high 30 doubles, one triple, a .345 on base percentage, and a .397 slugging percentage.  Bichette Jr. set a career high with a 20-game hitting streak from June 25-July 18, the longest in the Florida State League.  He also reached base safely in 29 consecutive games from June 16-July 18.

 

          Once again in 2015 Bichette Jr. split time between Tampa (45 games) and Trenton (67 games), but this time began the season at Double-A.  He was assigned to Tampa on June 4 and then promoted back to Trenton on August 3.  He hit .226 with three homers and 47 RBI in 112 games.

 

          Bichette Jr. spent all of 2016 at Trenton and hit .243 with nine homers and 49 RBI in 114 games.  In 367 at bats he scored 45 runs, ripped 19 doubles, one triple, a .342 on base percentage, and a .373 slugging percentage.

 

          In high school Bichette Jr. was a star, named All-Central Florida Baseball Player of the Year, during his junior and senior season at Orangewood Christian High, by the Orlando Sentinel.  Following his junior season, he was selected as an Under Armour All-American.  He played in the 2005 Little League World Series with Maitland Little League.  They reached the U.S. semi-finals, but lost 6-2 to Rancho Buena Vista (CA) Little League.

 

          Bichette Jr’s Dad, Dante Sr., played for the California Angels (1988-1990), Milwaukee Brewers (1991-92), Colorado Rockies (1993-99), Cincinnati Reds (2000), and Boston Red Sox (20001).  His brother Bo was a second round pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016 and last year hit .362 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI in 110 games between Single-A Lansing and High-A Dunedin.

 

          The Saints have now signed 13 players this off-season.

 

Roster

RHP – Mike Devine

LHP – Ken Frosch

RHP – Eddie Medina

RHP – Vinny Nittoli

RHP – John Straka

RHP – Beck Wheeler

OF - Kes Carter

OF - Max Murphy

OF - Jordan Smith

INF – Josh Allen

INF – Dante Bichette Jr.

INF – Noah Perio

INF Brady Shoemaker

The Saints had signed infielder Jake Hager, but he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers organization on February 20.

 

          The Saints begin the 2018 season on the road against the Gary SouthShore Railcats on Friday, May 18.  The Saints first game at home is on Monday, May 21 against the newest member of the American Association, the Chicago Dogs, at 3:05 p.m.