Roger Brown's Fisher Cats Notebook: Bichette to play in Futures all-star tiltBy ROGER BROWN
New Hampshire Union Leader
July 06. 2018 11:12PM
MANCHESTER — Shortstop Bo Bichette will represent the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in this year’s All-Star Futures game, which will be played July 15 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., as part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Celebration.
Bichette, 20, is the No. 7-ranked prospect in minor league baseball, according to MLB.com. Entering Friday night’s game against Reading he was batting .269/.330/.437 with eight home runs and 44 RBIs in 82 games with the Fisher Cats (370 plate appearances).
Former Fisher Cats catcher Danny Jansen, now a catcher with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, is the only other member of the Blue Jays’ organization selected to play in the game. Bichette and Jansen, 23, are both on the U.S. roster and will compete against the World team.
Despite being the top prospect in pro baseball, New Hampshire third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is currently nursing a knee injury and was not picked to play in the game. Guerrero is on the cover of the current issue of Baseball America.
MLB.com lists Bichette as Toronto’s No. 2 prospect, behind Guerrero. Last season Bichette led all minor league hitters with a .362 average and was named the Midwest League’s MVP after playing in 70 games with Lansing before being promoted to Advanced-A Dunedin of the Florida State League.
The Futures Game will be aired live on the MLB Network and streamed at MLB.com. The United States owns a 12-7 edge over the World and won last year’s game, 7-6, in Miami.
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The Fisher Cats’ losing streak reached three games with Friday night’s 2-1 loss to Reading. It was a 1-1 game until Malquin Canelo’s triple allowed Austin Bossart to score in the top of the ninth.
Right fielder Harold Ramirez collected two hits for New Hampshire (48-37). His RBI single in the third inning scored Bichette with New Hampshire’s only run. Aaron Brown pitched one inning for Reading (40-46), a scoreless eighth, to earn the win.
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Former Reading outfielder Cord Sandberg announced his retirement from professional baseball Wednesday to pursue a career in football. Sandberg hit .231 with three home runs in 54 games for Reading this season.
Sandberg, 23, was rated as a four-star quarterback prospect coming out of Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla. The Phillies selected Sandberg in the third round of the 2013 draft, and he spurned a scholarship offer from Mississippi State to sign a pro contract with Philadelphia. He reportedly had 14 scholarship offers to play football in his senior year in high school.
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Center fielder Jonathan Davis was not in the Fisher Cats lineup Friday night after suffering an undisclosed injury while attempting to make a diving catch and is listed as day-to-day. Davis is batting .300 (one of nine Eastern League players hitting .300 or better), and entered Friday’s contest leading the league in runs scored (64) and ranked second in hits (89). He became the first Fisher Cats player to hit for the cycle when he accomplished the feat June 26 against Portland.
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Sports writer John McNamara, one of five people killed in a shooting at the Annapolis (Md.) Capital last week, had been the Bowie Baysox beat writer for the newspaper since the franchise moved to Bowie. The Baysox are Baltimore’s Double-A affiliate in the Eastern League. As a tribute to McNamara, the Baysox are asking beat writers from around the Eastern League to share a story or their favorite memory from covering their local team. The collection of stories will be published and copies will also be sent to McNamara’s family.
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New Hampshire left fielder Connor Panas stretched his current hitting streak to a season-high 10 games with a single in the sixth inning Friday. He entered Friday’s contest hitting .361 (13 for 36) in his last nine games. …
Cavan Biggio began Friday’s game with 18 home runs, 65 RBIs and 59 walks. He is on pace to set Fisher Cats records in all three categories. Eric Thames holds the single-season record for home runs (27), RBIs (104) and Ryan Schimpf holds the team record for walks (79). …
The Fisher Cats will play Reading again today (7:05 p.m.) and Sunday (1:35 p.m.) before the All-Star break. New Hampshire’s T.J. Zeuch (6-3, 3.00) and Reading’s Connor Seabold (0-1, 8.00 ERA) are tonight’s scheduled starting pitchers.