2023 was Cavan Biggio’s fifth season with the Blue Jays.
His first two seasons were quite good. He hit .240/.368/.430 with 24 home runs, 112 walks, and 184 strikeouts in 159 at-bats for a 5.0 bWAR in a full season’s worth of at-bats. We were looking forward to watching a great career.
Cavan’s second two seasons didn’t live up to the first two. He hit .213/.320/.353 with 13 home runs, 75 walks, and 163 strikeouts in 176 games, adding up to a 1.7 bWAR. Instead of looking forward to a great career, we wondered if his career was ending abruptly.
Baseball Reference has him at a 0.8 WAR. FanGraphs 1.0 WAR, giving him a value of $$8.3 million to the Jays.
Cavan had a .318 wOBA and a 103 wRC+ (last year .302 and 97).
Cavan’s walk rate was 11.8% (down from 12.5% last year), and his strikeout rate was down a bit, 26.0% (from 28.1%).
His line drive rate was much the same (20.5% from 20.9), ground ball rate was up (38.0% from 35.5), and fly ball rate was down (41.5% from 43.6). 10.8% of his fly ball left the park (up from 8.0).
Soft contact was down a little (11.3% from 12.1), and hard contact was up (32.0% from 27.6%). Last year he started pulling the ball more, and he continued that this year (44.8% pull rate, in 2021, it was 35.0%).
Biggio’s BABIP was .304 up from .275
He hit right-handers (.223/.337/.372) worse than left-handers (..298/.359/.362) but then he only had 53 PA against lefties.
Cavan hit better at home (.264/.374/.395) than at on the road (.213/.312/.350).
With RISP he hit .267/.406/.440.
His first half (.197/.265/.380) was far worse than his second half (.272/.404/.361).
Biggio by month:
- April: .111/.184/.244 with 2 home runs, 3 walks and 19 strikeouts in 16 games.
- May: .278/.333/.500 with 2 home runs, 2 walks and 12 strikeouts in 18 games.
- June: .227/.306/.477 with 3 home runs, 5 walks and 12 strikeouts in 17 games.
- July: .267/.389/.300 with 0 home runs, 4 walks and 9 strikeouts in 16 games.
- August: .235/.355/.333 with 1 home run, 8 walks and 17 strikeouts in 18 games.
- September: .277/.408/.374 with 1 home run, 18 walks and 19 strikeouts in 26 games.
On defense, he played all over the place:
- 49 games at second base. 1 error, .983 FA. UZR has him at a -0.1/150 (too few innings to really trust UZR). Outs above average had him at a -5.
- 20 games at first base. 2 errors, .992 FA. UZR has him at a 10.2/150, but limited innings.
- 27 games in right field, 0 errors, .976 FA. FanGraphs has him at a -20.8/150. Again way to few innings to tell much, but I’m not a fan of his defence in right.
- 13 games at third base, 0 errors.
- 1 inning at short.
As a base runner, FanGraphs has him at 2.2 runs better than the average baserunner. He is a smart base runner. He stole 5 bases, caught 2 times.
Where he hit in games started:
- 2nd: 3 games.
- 3rd: 2 games.
- 4th: 6 games.
- 5th: 15 games.
- 6th: 6 games.
- 7th: 5 games.
- 8th: 25 games.
- 9th: 16 games.
The Jays were 40-38 in games Cavan started. His longest hit streak was 4 games. Longest on base streak 13 games. The longest without a home run was 23 games.
The very slow start hurt a lot. It takes a long time for fans to get over a slow start. He didn’t have good numbers in spring training, either.
His value to the team is tied to his ability to play all over the field. But I’d prefer it if he didn’t play the outfield anymore.
I’m not sure that we don’t have better options for the utility role. Davis Schneider can play second and, in a pinch the outfield or third base and I think there might be more potential in his bat.
Cavan will turn 29 in April of next year. I don’t know how much more we can expect from him if this is where he tops out, I don’t know how much value he has to a team that intends to make the playoffs.
He is arbitration-eligible this off-season. MLB Trade Rumors figures him to get $3.7 in arbitration. That’s not a lot of money in MLB terms (though I wouldn’t turn it down if someone offered it to me), but the Jays could save a bit of money by giving his job to one of their young prospects.
Before the season we asked:
- If the over/under on Cavan Biggio’s MLB PA is 195 I’d take the: 60% of us were right taking the over.
- Cavan will get most of his playing time at: 49% of us were right saying second base. 19% said outfield. 18% said another team. 13% said minors.
- If the over/under on Cavan’s bWAR is 1.0 I’d take the: 43% were right taking the under.
For his 2023 season I’d grade Cavan an
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