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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Cavan Biggio

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Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

A couple of years ago I didn’t think Cavan Biggio was much of a prospect.

2017 he had a .233/.342/.363 batting line, with a lot of walks (74) and a lot of strikeouts (140) in 556 PA. It seems that he stood at the plate and watch pitches go by until he either walked (yay) or struck out (not so yay).

2018, he moved up to Double A, and added some home runs (26) but still walked a lot (99) and still struck out a lot (100) hitting .252/.388/.499 in 563 PA. It seemed he was doing much the same but he would occasionally turn on a cookie full count pitch, if the pitcher was just throwing a getover fastball.

I really thought he’d be exposed at higher levels.

This last season, he started the season at Triple A and did great, hitting .312/.448/.514 with 6 home runs in 174 PA, which, as it should, got him a call-up to the majors.

At first, in the majors, he seemed to fall back on that watch pitches go past thing. At the end of August he was hitting .215/.345/.391. He had 55 walks an 93 strikeouts in 331 PA. Then he talked about being more aggressive at the plate and he did much better. There was a slump and then he ended the season hitting .300/.424/.563 with 4 home runs, 16 walks and 30 strikeouts in 99 PA (which included hitting a cycle on September 17th) in September.

He seems to be a smart player. Years ago Bill James had this stat he came up with to try to measure baseball IQ. I don’t remember all that went into it, but he included walk rate and stolen base percentage (Joe Morgan was a league leader in it). Cavan walked a lot, and he was a perfect 14 for 14 as a base stealer. He obviously picked the right spots to steal. I can’t remember what else went into the stat (likely strikeout rate which would cost Cavan some points.

And Cavan was smart enough to make adjustments in his approach at the plate.

There was a lot of talk about how he was a leader in the clubhouse.

Adds Justin Smoak, the team’s elder statesman: “Even now, if a lot of the younger guys want to talk, they might go to him more [than me] just because, at times, he was that guy for them in the minor leagues.”

There are always ’leadership’ questions when a team has a lot of young players. I’m never one to worry about it. It always seems to be that people decide there is no leadership when a team loses and

There are still questions on the defensive side. When he came up the thought was that he was going to play all over the field, but, as time went on, he played almost only second base. FanGraphs has him at a -0.2 UZR/150, right at league average. I thought he improved as the season went on. I’d like the team to keep him playing at second. I see suggestions that they are thinking of playing him all over the place again. The team signing Joe Panik does make it look like the team is, at least, going to explore the possibility

Streamer projects him to hit .234/.345/.413 this coming year, much the same as he hit last year. I’d like to think there will be some improvement this year. I think that finishing up the season on a hot streak is a good sign for next year. MLB Network had him as the 8th best second baseman in the MLB right now, which is nice to see.

Several MLB Network panelists were big fans of Biggio’s skill set, like MLB.com’s Mike Petriello. “Biggio is a guy that stood out to me most as I did this list,” Petriello said. “He’s going to be 20/20 with that walk rate … I’m totally in on Biggio.”

If I played fantasy baseball (I don’t most because I spend way too much time on baseball as it is (my wife is nodding her head so hard it might come off her shoulders)) I would want to grab him.

Poll

If the over/under on Cavan Biggio’s OPS is .800 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Over
    (345 votes)
  • 29%
    Under
    (142 votes)
487 votes total Vote Now

Poll

This season Cavan will play

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Almost only second base
    (183 votes)
  • 62%
    Mostly second but a fair bit at other positions
    (328 votes)
  • 3%
    Some second but mostly at other positions
    (18 votes)
529 votes total Vote Now