Big League Debut: Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays

What’s a Cavan? It’s a reasonable question. I mean, how many Cavan’s have you ever met? I’ve met one, and yesterday he debuted for the Toronto Blue Jays, starting at second base in Friday night’s tilt of with San Diego. It marked the first time in MLB history that the son’s of two hall of famers started for the same team. Biggio was not a highly regarded prospect coming out of Norte Dame in 2016, but he’s made some adjustments in pro ball that have allowed him to find another gear. Coming off a 2018 in which Biggio led the Eastern League in home runs, walks, and OPS, he’s continued his success so far this year recording the second highest OBP in the International League while cutting his Double-A strikeout rate by ten percentage points year over year. So what should we expect from Biggio?

The Rankings

Biggio ranked eighth on our Blue Jays list and 149th on our Fantasy Top 300.

The Tools

Defense (Glove 40/Throw 50): Biggio has seen time at first, second, third, and the corner outfield spots. He’s not a strong defender at any of the positions he’s played, but can be a sturdy, slightly below league average second baseman. His range is limited but he’s sure-handed enough to make a majority of the plays needed. His arm is average, and strong enough for him to see time at third and in right. It’s not a part of his profile that adds much value, but it should be enough to keep him in the lineup. 

Hit (45 Present/50 Future): Biggio’s best skill is his on-base ability. Dating back to his early professional days Biggio has accumulated a 15.3 percent career walk rate. His swing and miss was prevalent last season but we’ve seen it improve year over year to a more than acceptable level. His swing is still long at times, and he can be overly passive at the plate. That said, you have to wonder if Biggio has made improvements to his contact ability now that he’s two years into his new setup. 

Power (50 Game/55 Raw): We know based on the aforementioned Eastern League home run title that Biggio has power. While he’s maybe shown a little less pop that expected in the high-scoring Triple-A environment, he’s still produced the second highest isolated slugging of his career, and his highest slugging percentage to date. A majority of Biggio’s power is heavily to his pull side. In fact only four of Biggio’s career 43 home runs have gone to center of left field. An outcome of a 20-25 home run hitter seems very much in the cards. 

Speed (45 Present/45 Future): I’m not the type to just drop speed grades as players age on principal. Simply because I’ve seen enough of Biggio to know his body type (he’s in excellent shape), and instincts on the bases. Will he have a 20/20 season like he did in 2018 at any point in his major league career? The simple answer is no. He’s not a great base stealer but is an opportunist, taking advantage of situational reads. Speed wise Biggio is an average runner; I wouldn’t describe him as station to station but don’t expect him to wreak havoc on the base-paths either. A handful of steals annually should be the expectation.

Prediction: A solid all around player with an OPS focused skill set, Biggio should be part of the Blue Jays core over the coming years as they fight for relevancy and an increasingly difficult AL East. If I were to put a projection on his production the next few seasons, I’d expect a .255/.345/460 line with home run totals in the 18-24 range annually.