Bichette Not Shying Away From Expectations

CHARLESTON, SC - Last year's first round pick and current third baseman for the Charleston RiverDogs, Dante Bichette Jr., faces high expectations as the season draws near. As the son of a former major leaguer, Bichette Jr. is not concerned with the pressure saying, "I've learned to deal with it, so it's not too bad."

Coming off a championship from his first season in the Gulf Coast League, he was given the chance to participate with the major league squad in Tampa where he hit home runs on his only two plate appearances. Given his youth, Bichette Jr. was glad to perform well on the big stage.

"I don't think anybody would expect to play that well", Bichette said. "Coming in wearing a high number, not really on the team at all, fastballs are probably going to come to you and I guess I'm just lucky I didn't miss them."

Following the home runs, Mark Teixeira approached Bichette Jr. and shook his hand, which he said, "was pretty awesome."

Given the hype surrounding Dante Bichette Jr., there is hope that he will move up through the farm system and one day be playing opposite the diamond of Teixeira.

"I can just play my game and see what happens. I'll play as hard as I can and do what the coaches want and if they think I'm ready to go to the next level they'll move me up and if not I'll just keep playing hard."

There has been some discussions concerning the possibility of Bichette Jr. being heir to Alex Rodriguez and one day playing third base for the New York Yankees, to which Bichette Jr. said, "those are some huge shoes to fill. He's somebody that I would love to be like when I make my major league career so I think that's a good goal to shoot for."

From his participation in spring training, Bichette Jr. was able to gain some valuable experience.

"I feel like I get better every time I'm able to see some pitching and play defense in a real game. I've just been working with some of the coaches trying to better myself all-around, not just in one aspect of the game. I've worked on some things mechanical wise, but especially my timing, and that's coming along pretty well."

Not everything this season will be a new experience for Bichette. Carlos Mendoza, the new manager for the RiverDogs this season, also coached Bichette Jr. in the Gulf Coast League. Bichette Jr. is looking forward to the familiarity of Coach Mendoza.

"He's the man, he's my favorite manager I've had so far in my whole life. He's got a good personality and we bond really well with him. He can push you really hard and at the same time keep you mellow enough to play the game."

Coach Mendoza is equally as excited to be coaching Dante Bichette Jr. again.

"I coached in Tampa for about half of last year and I had Bichette right after he signed so I've got a good relationship with him," said Coach Mendoza. "He's got a chance to be a pretty special player."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nComing off a championship from his first season in the Gulf Coast League, he was given the chance to participate with the major league squad in Tampa where he hit home runs on his only two plate appearances. Given his youth, Bichette Jr. was glad to perform well on the big stage.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't think anybody would expect to play that well\", Bichette said. \"Coming in wearing a high number, not really on the team at all, fastballs are probably going to come to you and I guess I'm just lucky I didn't miss them.\"
\r\n
\r\nFollowing the home runs, Mark Teixeira approached Bichette Jr. and shook his hand, which he said, \"was pretty awesome.\"
\r\n
\r\nGiven the hype surrounding Dante Bichette Jr., there is hope that he will move up through the farm system and one day be playing opposite the diamond of Teixeira.
\r\n
\r\n\"I can just play my game and see what happens. I'll play as hard as I can and do what the coaches want and if they think I'm ready to go to the next level they'll move me up and if not I'll just keep playing hard.\"
\r\n
\r\nThere has been some discussions concerning the possibility of Bichette Jr. being heir to Alex Rodriguez and one day playing third base for the New York Yankees, to which Bichette Jr. said, \"those are some huge shoes to fill. He's somebody that I would love to be like when I make my major league career so I think that's a good goal to shoot for.\"
\r\n
\r\nFrom his participation in spring training, Bichette Jr. was able to gain some valuable experience.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like I get better every time I'm able to see some pitching and play defense in a real game. I've just been working with some of the coaches trying to better myself all-around, not just in one aspect of the game. I've worked on some things mechanical wise, but especially my timing, and that's coming along pretty well.\"
\r\n
\r\nNot everything this season will be a new experience for Bichette. Carlos Mendoza, the new manager for the RiverDogs this season, also coached Bichette Jr. in the Gulf Coast League. Bichette Jr. is looking forward to the familiarity of Coach Mendoza.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's the man, he's my favorite manager I've had so far in my whole life. He's got a good personality and we bond really well with him. He can push you really hard and at the same time keep you mellow enough to play the game.\"
\r\n
\r\nCoach Mendoza is equally as excited to be coaching Dante Bichette Jr. again.
\r\n
\r\n\"I coached in Tampa for about half of last year and I had Bichette right after he signed so I've got a good relationship with him,\" said Coach Mendoza. \"He's got a chance to be a pretty special player.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

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