New York Yankees prospect Dante Bichette Jr. was passed over by other teams when the Yankees picked him up, and he was criticized by scouts who believed that his quick success in the minor leagues would be short lived.
Bichette was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of high school. Once he began to play third base in the Gulf Coast League, he achieved success quickly.
In the 2011 season, he won the Gulf Coast League Player of the Month, he became a postseason All-Star, received a Most Valuable Player award, became a Baseball America Rookie All-Star, a Topps Short-Season/Rookie All-Star and an MiLB.com Organization All-Star.
On Aug, 31, 2011, he hit a decisive home run in Game 3 leading the Gulf Coast League Yankees to the championship.
In 19 games in the 2012 season so far, Bichette has 18 hits, one double, one triple and nine RBI with a .243 batting average.
When the Yankees first acquired Bichette, Baseball America labeled him as an overdraft player whose competitive advantage would erode. It was believed he had an advantage having developed skills earlier than most minor league players because his father was a major league player.
Many of the critics have reversed their opinions and now believe that Bichette will become more powerful and will continue to improve. Baseball America changed their opinion and labeled him as a player with the potential to have plus-plus power.
Bichette proved in 2011 that he hits with power and speed, and has the ability to be patient at the plate to force pitchers into deep counts. He has a solid work ethic for a young player, which will enable him to continue to develop.
Bichette has the natural skills to continue development, and should work through the minor league levels with great success. Keep an eye on Bichette as he progresses.