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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Cavan Biggio

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

We are five years into Cavan Biggio’s MLB career, and he has worked his way from star second baseman to utility player.

He hit .234/.364/.429 in his first season with 16 home runs, good for a 3.0 bWAR in 100 games. That had him finishing fifth in All-Star voting. He hit for the cycle on September 17th; it was just the third time in Jays’ history and the second time a father and son had done it in the MLB.

His second season started slowly (which would become a theme). May 5th he was hitting .179/.286/.286. He was playing third base, not particularly well, and working his way out of an everyday role. After May 5th he was better (.236/.333/.385). Unfortunately, 2020 was a shortened season (just 60 games) so he didn’t get time to bring up his numbers much.

The last three seasons have been more of the same: incredibly slow starts (in 2022, he finished April with a .043 batting average). When you are fighting for a major league job, it is best to start strong, the team will find a spot for you. And fans will call you a loser lefty long after you start hitting.

2023 was a rather extreme version of the slow start. Cavan hit .111/.184/.244 in April and then .278/.333/.500 in May (in somewhat limited at-bats, when you are hitting .111, managers tend to find a way to keep you out of the lineup). The rest of the way had some ups and downs, but no low near as bad as April, and he hit .277/.408/.374 in September.

In Biggio’s first two seasons, over roughly a full season's worth of at-bats, he had a 5.0 bWAR. In the last three seasons, in roughly two seasons, he’s had a 2.0 bWAR.

He won’t be a free agent until 2026, so it will be pretty cheap to keep him around until then. But he’ll have to show he can be more than a replacement player if he wants to continue an MLB career after that.

The slow starts are maddening, likely more to Cavan than to the rest of us. He has a .505 career OPS in April, .706 in May, and .879 in June. I don’t know what the answer is. Obviously, the team doesn’t either. Have him spend April in Buffalo? Give him more at-bats in spring training? I’m sure anything I could think of the Jays have, too.

For his career, he doesn’t have much of a platoon split; he has a .740 OPS vs RHP and .714 vs. LHP. He’s had 76% of his career at-bats against RHP

I never want to see him play the outfield again. His defense at other positions is passable. I don’t think I’d want him playing third full-time (and I doubt that will ever happen), but he’s ok there. I think second is his best spot if he’s going to play a full-time role.

PECOTA figures Cavan to play in 94 games, hit .216/.325/.357 with 8 home runs.

ZiPS says 106 games. with a .225/.332/.368 line and 9 home runs.

Steamer 105 games, .229/.334/.369 with 11 home runs.

Poll

If the over/under on Biggio’s batting average at the end of April is .200 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Under
    (84 votes)
  • 69%
    Over
    (194 votes)
278 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Biggio will get his most defensive innings at

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Second Base
    (206 votes)
  • 14%
    Third Base
    (39 votes)
  • 4%
    Outfield
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    First Base
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Minors
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Another Team
    (10 votes)
276 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on Biggio’s 2024 games played in 100 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Over
    (147 votes)
  • 42%
    Under
    (109 votes)
256 votes total Vote Now