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The season that was: Cavan Biggio

A look at Cavan’s 2022 season

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Going into 2022, we’d seen Cavan Biggio for three seasons. The first two were pretty good, and the third was a mess of injuries and inconsistency.

And, coming into the year, he was a man without a position. Maybe he’d platoon at second, or maybe he’d be a utility guy. Either way, we wanted him to hit more as he did in 2019 than in 2021.

Standard Batting
27 97 303 257 43 52 18 1 6 24 2 0 38 85 .202 .318 .350 .668 92 2 6 1 1
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/27/2022.

Unfortunately, it was much the same as in 2021.

Baseball Reference has him at a 0.9 WAR. FanGraphs 1.3 WAR, giving him a value of $10.7 million to the Jays.

Cavan had a .302 wOBA and a 97 wRC+ (last year .298 and 84).

Cavan’s walk rate was 12.5% (about the same as his 12.6 last year), and his strikeout rate was up a bit 28.1% (up from 26.5).

His line drive rate was down (20.9% from 22.3), ground ball rate was down (35.5% from 37.7) and fly ball rate was up (43.6% from 40.0). 8.0% of his fly ball left the pack, down from 10.0.

Soft contact was up a little (12.1% from 10.7), and hard contact was down (27.6% from 30.5). He was pulling the ball much more (46.0% pull rate, up from 35.0).

Biggio’s BABIP was .275, down from .290.

He hit right-handers (.212/.327/.364) better than left-handers (.150/.271/.275).

Cavan hit better on the road (.222/.327/.389) than at home (.177/.306/.389).

With RISP he hit .237/.330/.316.

His first half (.221/.350/.366) was better than his second half (.183/.283/.333).

Biggio by month:

  • April: .044/.214/.044 with no home runs, 3 walks and 10 strikeouts in 13 games.
  • May: .231/.375/.308 with no home runs, 3 walks and 7 strikeouts in 5 games.
  • June: .271/.419/.525 with 2 home runs, 14 walks and 18 strikeouts in 20 games.
  • July: .224/.297/.310 with 0 home runs, 6 walks and 16 strikeouts in 18 games.
  • August: .220/.283/.463 with 2 home runs, 4 walks and 10 strikeouts in 16 games.
  • September: .159/.284/.270 with 2 home runs, 8 walks and 24 strikeouts in 25 games.

In June we got the Cavan Biggio we’d like to see.

On defense he played all over the place:

  • 49 games at second base. 2 errors, .987 FA. UZR has him at a 2.4/150 (too few innings to really trust UZR). Outs above average had him at a +7 (Santiago Espinal was +9 in 3 times as many innings) , a very good number considering how little he played (tied for sixth in the AL).
  • 33 games at first base. 2 errors, .992 FA.
  • 9 games in the outfield (7 in right, 2 in left), no errors.
  • 1 game at third base.

Where he hit in games started:

  • 1st: 5 games.
  • 5th: 5 games.
  • 6th: 10 games.
  • 7th: 7 games.
  • 8th: 7 games.
  • 9th: 43 games.

The Jays were 44-33 in games he started.

His longest hitting streak was 6 games, longest on-base streak 8 games. Longest without a home run 28 games.

Cavan had a very good spring training, and I was hopeful that was a sign of good things. I was wrong. As always, never read anything into spring training numbers.

I’m not sure what the future is for Cavan. On the plus side, he’s willing to play all over the diamond, and there is value in that. And, even in a poor season, his bat is league-average. And he played very good defense at second.

But he doesn’t look like a starter for a contending team. And I don’t know if he is a better choice for the utility guy job than Otto Lopez.

Trade him? I don’t know that you could get much in return for him. Obviously, if someone wanted to give up a useful player, I’d make the deal. I just don’t see it happening.

I play OOTP Baseball pretty obsessively, and scouts in that game will sometimes call a player a ‘second division starter’, basically saying, ‘if you want to make the playoffs, you don’t want this guy starting for you. Cavan looks like a second-division starter to me.

He’s 28 next year, still in the prime of his career, and only four years removed from a season where he received Rookie of the Year votes and three years removed from a good second season. He’s had a few nagging injuries since.

Cavan seems like a smart fellow. I wouldn’t bet against him figuring things out, but he keeps talking about being more aggressive at the plate, and it doesn’t seem to be working for him.

After his age-27 season, he’s fallen behind his Hall of Fame father in most stats. By the end of his age-27 season, Craig played 800 games and hit .277/.355/.292 with 51 home runs and 124 steals. Cavan has played 335 games, hitting .228/.346/.394 with 37 home runs and 25 steals. Dad was just coming into his own at age 27 and was an amazing player in his 30s.

Before the season, we asked:

  • Over/under on at-bats 400. And we were exactly split 50% right, 50% wrong. He finished with 257 at-bats.
  • Where he would get the most playing time? 83% were right, saying second base.
  • Over/under on bWAR 1.7. 39% were right, taking the under.
  • Who gets the most playing time, Biggio or Espinal? 61% were wrong in picking Cavan.


For his 2022 season I’d grade Cavan Biggio an

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