After hitting his 6th Homer of the year (good for 2nd in the Eastern League) this afternoon, it’s high time we had a closer look at New Hampshire UT Cavan Biggio.
The Blue Jays selected Biggio in the 5th round in 2016. Clearly, they were higher on him than Baseball America was:
As you would expect for the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, Cavan Biggio has a very intelligent approach to the game. His understanding of the game is arguably his best attribute, as his tools are modest. Biggio is an average runner and stole 14 bases in 14 tries during the regular season. Biggio, who has a plenty of pre-swing movement that he may need to tone down as a pro, has below-average power with an all-field approach that gives him a fringe-average hit tool. His advanced batting eye helped him walk in 21 percent of his plate appearances this season, helping him to post a .473 on-base percentage. Defensively, he’s struggled with his reliability as a junior. His range is limited but he turns a good double play.
Biggio had a decent (.282/.382/.366) pro debut season with Vancouver in his draft year, but a cursory glance at his line last year with Dunedin (.233/.342/.363) suggested that he had taken a step back at the higher level. A closer look reveals an improved rate of line drive contact, as the natural loft in his swing produced some decent contact, which may have been concealed by the Pitcher’s paradise that is the Florida State League:
Cavan Biggio has a lot of natural loft in his swing. Has been consistently 40+% FB rate with an uptick to 60% in 18. FSL flyballs die in the humidity leading to his poor .233 average in 2017. Not surprised that AA has seen better results stat wise.#BlueJays
— Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) May 1, 2018
The left-handed hitting Biggio has an upright, closed stance. There still is some pronounced bat waggle, but it’s obviously used as a timing mechanism. He uses a slight leg lift, and gets that front leg down straight and quickly, producing leverage in his swing. New Hampshire Manager John Schneider lauds Biggio’s mechanics, and has suggested that his swing is one of the most efficient ones in the league. That’s high praise, considering the two bats ahead of him in the order.
A 2-3, BB performance today lifted his season’s line to .319/.427/.708. You will find Biggio among the leaders in several Eastern League offensive stats, including Slugging and OPS. The Blue Jays have added to Biggio’s versatility, giving him time at 3rd (when Vlad Jr needs a day off), 2B and 1B. Not a fleet runner, Biggio uses his base running smarts to take an extra base when needed. As BA suggests, Biggio’s high baseball IQ is one of his biggest assets.
There are some that would argue that Biggio’s stats so far are inflated by the short right field porch at New Hampshire. That certainly was the case for Tellez in 2016, as his home numbers (1.001 OPS vs .835 on the road) would indicate. But such has not been the case so far for Biggio, based on this set of splits:
What does the future hold for Biggio? Can he continue to produce at this level and beyond, or will he fall victim to what someone on Twitter labelled the “Tellez Effect”? That is truly hard to say, because he has not had production at this level for a sustained period so far in his relatively brief pro career. If he does advance, it will be that pop in his bat, along with his ability to play several positions that will help him to succeed at AAA.