1. Sports

Lakewood's Bo Bichette, East Lake's Travis MacGregor drafted in second round

Lakewood SS Bo Bichette is taken 66th overall by the Blue Jays.
Published Jun. 10, 2016

The 13-year Pinellas County draft drought ended right before midnight Thursday.

Lakewood's Bo Bichette, 18, was selected 66th overall by the Blue Jays in Thursday night's Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

Bichette is the first Pinellas high school player to be taken that high in the draft since Dunedin's Ryan Harvey went sixth overall to the Cubs in 2003. He is also the first player from Lakewood ever drafted in the first two rounds.

Just two picks later, East Lake High 6-foot-3 right-hander Travis MacGregor was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 68th overall pick.

"The Blue Jays were the top team that I wanted to go to,'' Bichette said. "They were the best as far as player development.

"I may end up taking a little less (in signing bonus), but this is the best fit. I actually turned down about four offers earlier in the draft because they weren't good fits."

The 6-foot, 185-pound Bichette had an impressive senior season.

He hit .569 with 13 home runs, which ranked first in the state and tied for seventh nationally according to MaxPreps. In his three years at Lakewood, Bichette hit 24 home runs, despite playing only seven games last season due to an elbow injury. He never had a batting average lower than .492.

MacGregor, a Clemson commit, was 7-1 for the Eagles this season with a 0.92 ERA and 82 strikeouts. Armed with a low-90s fastball, MacGregor said earlier this week that he was fine with whatever happened on draft day.

"It's hard to lose in this one," the 18-year-old said.

Bichette, who has orally committed to Arizona State, was named the Gatorade/USA Today and Florida Dairy Farmers' Florida Player of the Year. The son of former major-leaguer Dante Bichette, Bo could join older brother Dante Jr. as a professional player. Dante Jr. was taken 51st overall by the Yankees in 2011.

"He's just a special kid," Lakewood coach Jayce Ganchou said. "He's the complete package."

Bichette said he will bypass college and sign with Toronto.

Bichette and MacGregor join a string of recent Tampa Bay high school players taken on the first day: Plant's Kyle Tucker (fifth, Astros) and Jake Woodford (39th, Cardinals) in 2015; Hernando's Christian Arroyo (25th, Giants), Durant's Tyler Danish (55th, White Sox), Gaither's Oscar Mercado (57th, Cardinals) and Wharton's Tucker Neuhaus (72nd, Brewers) in 2013; Jesuit's Lance McCullers (41st, Astros) and King's Keon Barnum (48th, White Sox) in 2012; and Alonso's Jose Fernandez (14th, Marlins) in 2011.

Contact Rodney Page at Follow @RodneyHomeTeam.


  1. Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) scores against Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) in a shootout on Oct. 17 in Boston. The Lightning won 4-3. ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    Journal: Tampa Bay will spend three games at home before another extended stint on the road, and tonight’s post-game concert is moving inside.
  2. 1 hour ago• Florida State Seminoles
    Georgia Tech running back Nathan Cottrell (31) scores against Miami defensive lineman Josh Neely (84) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Miami Gardens. WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    The Hurricanes have a shot to win in regulation, but the field goal is blocked.
  3. Florida's Jacob Copeland (15) catches a pass for a touchdown as South Carolina's Jammie Robinson (7) defends in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. MIC SMITH  |  AP
    The quarterback’s three fourth-quarter touchdowns help UF put the Gamecocks away for good.
  4. What would separate Trent Dilfer from Vinny Testaverde and Jameis Winston? How about a visit to the postseason and a Pro Bowl invitation. Tampa Bay Times
    Counting down from 50 to 26: There will be a debate about the quarterbacks in this group and the receivers.
  5. In 1968, slugger Frank Howard, known as the "Washington Monument," proved to be one of the few bright spots for the Washington Senators. AP
    The Nationals’ improbable postseason run rekindles memories of the woeful Washington Senators
  6. Steve Young was a supplemental draft pick of the Bucs in 1984 and started 19 games for Tampa Bay in 1985 and 1986 before he was traded to the 49ers for a pair of draft picks in 1987. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Tampa Bay Times
    Counting down from No. 75 to 51: A reminder of how difficult it is to sustain a full NFL career.
  7. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, on left, along with Erik Neander, center, senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, and Chaim Bloom, senior vice president of baseball operations, address the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: Research now, action to come as Rays get caught up after playoff run. Plus, TV rating info and rumblings.
  8. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman turned in some quality seasons, but never reached the playoffs. CLIFF MCBRIDE
    Counting down No. 100 to 76 includes one of the franchise’s biggest flops, an NFL rookie of the year and a future broadcasting star.
  9. Former Lightning wing Ryan Callahan's debut as an NHL Network analyst is drawing positive reviews. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Slap Shots: And we answer this week’s reader’s question: Why doesn’t Victor Hedman play more minutes, like other No. 1 defensemen?
  10. Mike Ditka was thrilled about getting a $12,000 salary with the Bears at age 22: "I went out and bought a new car. I had it going.” AP Photo/Matt Slocum
    He’s had a remarkable life as an NFL player, coach, actor and pitchman.