With their 5th round pick, 162nd overall, the Blue Jays continued their run of college players, selecting a well known name in infielder Cavan Biggio out of the University of Notre Dame. Cavan is the son of recent Hall-of-Fame inductee Craig Biggio, and was a very highly regarded player out of high school who would have be in the running for a million dollar signing bonus if not for his commitment to Notre Dame.
Biggio has been a solid college performer as a starter from his freshman year, though not quite living up to what is expected of a player ranked 57th overall by MLB Pipeline and 67th by Baseball America. This past season, Biggio hit .311/.473/.454, with 4 home runs (18 extra base hits) and 54 walks against just 32 strikeouts. For his college career, Biggio hit .272/.406/.425. Last summer in the wood bat Cape Cod League he hit an underwhelming .263/.425/.316 in just under 150 plate appearances, with 31 walks and 36 strikeouts.
On one hand, it appears he took a step forward from last year to his year, in terms of his pure hitting. And his plate discipline metrics were outstanding. On the other hand, the power has not developed at all, and it's hard to expect much more development at this point (not to say it couldn't happen). And his strikeout rate on the Cape was quite high considering the lack of power. He still walked, but when that's not accompanied by other production, one wonders if it's just about an overly passive approach.
There are varying views on how Biggio ranks in relation to other 2016 draft picks. Baseball America ranked him 350th overall, and MLB Pipeline didn't have him in their top 200 with Jim Callis sounding particularly down in him. On the other hand, he ranked 151th overall by Perfect Game, and D1Baseball had him similarly in the 141-150 range (which is notable in that Frankie Pilere is the main guy doing that, and he heavily scouts the Cape where Biggio wasn't great).
Here is some of his report from MLB Pipeline out of high school:
Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 4/6 | Power: 3/5 | Run: 4/4 | Arm: 4/4 | Field: 4/5 | Overall: 4/5
Biggio had a very solid summer with the bat, showing an ability to hit the ball hard consistently against good competition. He has a little power and some feel he'll grow into some more.
The biggest question is where he profiles defensively. He might fit well as a second baseman, where his left-handed bat would be of value. Will he have enough power to play a corner position? Is he fast enough to play center field?
And some video from his school prospect days:
If the 2015 jump in production is real, then Biggio could profile as an infield who hits for a solid average, with a patient result that results in a good OBP. Maybe something like a .275/.330/.375 batting line, which with solid defensive performance could make him at least a second division regular.