Bichette Ready

TAMPA, FL - Dante Bichette Jr, the 51st overall pick in this month's MLB draft, agreed to a contract with the New York Yankees which has brought the 18-year kid to Tampa where he has begun play in the 2011 Gulf Coast League season.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound native from Orangewood Christian High School in Florida is former big leaguer and four-time all star, Dante Bichette's son. Coming from a baseball family, Dante put up staggering numbers in high school where success at the plate came often.

Bichette's senior season capped off an impressive high school career full of honors and accolades. He batted .640 with 10 home runs while sporting an astonishing .723 on base percentage in his 86 at-bats this spring with Orangewood Christian.

With the Yankees drafting Bichette in the supplemental round, it was a dream come true for the young kid to hear his name called.

"The Yankees are a prestigious ball club, debatably the best organization in sports," Bichette said. "It feels awesome, it's a great honor and I'm glad they liked me because I liked them too so I am going to give it my best out here."

Bichette, who carries a physical build, played shortstop in high school but some believe that he will be placed at third base, where he started on Monday in the Gulf Coast League opener, at the professional level.

One aspect of his game that he excels at is swinging the bat. He was named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger Preseason High School All-American list while also being a 2010 Under Armour All-American.

"I basically said if somebody liked me and took me early in the draft like that, that I would sign and play with them right away," Bichette said. "A team did which were the Yankees so I followed my word."

With high school baseball in the past, Bichette's attention now shifts to the professional world where the Yankees organization has assigned him to Tampa to pursue his big league career and play in this season's Gulf Coast League.

Bichette played in an exhibition GCL game on Sunday where he went 1-4 with an infield single the day before official play began.

On Monday afternoon, Bichette started the game at third base where he went hitless at the dish but worked a walk in his final at-bat during the squad's first game of the season against the Braves.

As Bichette continues to get his feet wet, the whole experience of signing with the Yankees and coming to Tampa has been a fun ride so far.

"It's been fun, I only played one real game but we'll be playing baseball every day which is what I want to do," Bichette said. "Tampa seems like a really good area and everything's been great so far."

With one game under his belt, the future is all of what Bichette makes it. Being a young player at only 18-years of age and a history of professional baseball in his blood, getting on the field and playing his first season is the starting point for Bichette.

As how he has enjoyed the experience so far with his teammates and coaches, everything seems smooth sailing.

"I love it, there are great guys out here, the coaches are awesome and so are the players," Bichette said. "I'm looking forward to the season and playing the game I love."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nThe 6-foot-1, 215-pound native from Orangewood Christian High School in Florida is former big leaguer and four-time all star, Dante Bichette's son. Coming from a baseball family, Dante put up staggering numbers in high school where success at the plate came often.
\r\n
\r\nBichette's senior season capped off an impressive high school career full of honors and accolades. He batted .640 with 10 home runs while sporting an astonishing .723 on base percentage in his 86 at-bats this spring with Orangewood Christian.
\r\n
\r\nWith the Yankees drafting Bichette in the supplemental round, it was a dream come true for the young kid to hear his name called.
\r\n
\r\n\"The Yankees are a prestigious ball club, debatably the best organization in sports,\" Bichette said. \"It feels awesome, it's a great honor and I'm glad they liked me because I liked them too so I am going to give it my best out here.\"
\r\n
\r\nBichette, who carries a physical build, played shortstop in high school but some believe that he will be placed at third base, where he started on Monday in the Gulf Coast League opener, at the professional level.
\r\n
\r\nOne aspect of his game that he excels at is swinging the bat. He was named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger Preseason High School All-American list while also being a 2010 Under Armour All-American.
\r\n\r\n
\r\n\"I basically said if somebody liked me and took me early in the draft like that, that I would sign and play with them right away,\" Bichette said. \"A team did which were the Yankees so I followed my word.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith high school baseball in the past, Bichette's attention now shifts to the professional world where the Yankees organization has assigned him to Tampa to pursue his big league career and play in this season's Gulf Coast League.
\r\n
\r\nBichette played in an exhibition GCL game on Sunday where he went 1-4 with an infield single the day before official play began.
\r\n
\r\nOn Monday afternoon, Bichette started the game at third base where he went hitless at the dish but worked a walk in his final at-bat during the squad's first game of the season against the Braves.
\r\n
\r\nAs Bichette continues to get his feet wet, the whole experience of signing with the Yankees and coming to Tampa has been a fun ride so far.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's been fun, I only played one real game but we'll be playing baseball every day which is what I want to do,\" Bichette said. \"Tampa seems like a really good area and everything's been great so far.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith one game under his belt, the future is all of what Bichette makes it. Being a young player at only 18-years of age and a history of professional baseball in his blood, getting on the field and playing his first season is the starting point for Bichette.
\r\n
\r\nAs how he has enjoyed the experience so far with his teammates and coaches, everything seems smooth sailing.
\r\n
\r\n\"I love it, there are great guys out here, the coaches are awesome and so are the players,\" Bichette said. \"I'm looking forward to the season and playing the game I love.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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