Cavan Biggio

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Cavan Thomas Biggio

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Biographical Information[edit]

Cavan Biggio is the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio. Like his father, he began playing second base after playing other positions, in his case third base and shortstop. He was first drafted out of high school by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 29th round in 2013 but went on to attend the University of Notre Dame. In 2016, he was taken in the 5th round by the Toronto Blue Jays and signed. Biggio began his professional career with the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League in 2016, then was promoted for a few games to the Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League at the end of the year. Between the two stops, he hit .273/.371/.349 in 62 games, with 27 runs scored and 26 RBI. In 2017, he moved up to the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League, where he hit .233/.342/.363 in 127 games. He showed some hints of power, with 17 doubles, 5 triples and 11 homers in what is not normally a very hitter-friendly environment. Other positive points including scoring 75 runs scored, drawing 74 walks and driving in 60 runs.

On March 17, 2018, he was one of six second-generation players in the starting lineup for the Blue Jays against the Canadian junior national team; all four infielders were in fact sons of big leaguers, and genuine prospects to boot. He had an excellent season for the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats, helping lead them to the Eastern League title by hitting .252/.388/.499 in 132 games between second, third and first base. He slammed 23 doubles, 5 triples and 26 homers, scored 80 runs and drove in 99. He led the circuit in homers and was second in RBI, 3 behind Will Craig, and second in runs scored behind teammate Bo Bichette. Cavan was named the circuit's Player of the Year. He started the 2019 season in AAA with the Buffalo Bisons. He was hitting .307 with 6 homers and 26 RBI in 42 games when he was called up to Toronto on May 24th, with the Blue Jays struggling to put runs on the scoreboard.

Cavan made his big league debut on May 24, 2019, playing second base against the San Diego Padres and batting 8th, going 0 for 3 in a 6-3 loss. He got his first hit two days later off Robbie Erlin of the Padres. He added his first big league homer off Matt Wisler a couple of innings later in the same game. He had his first two-homer game on June 13th, against the Baltimore Orioles. On September 17th, he hit for the cycle in an 8-5 win over the Orioles, the first cycle by a Blue Jays player since Jeff Frye on August 17, 2001. His father had also hit for the cycle, making them only the second father/son duo to achieve the feat, following Gary and Daryle Ward. He also stole a pair of bases during the game, an even rarer occurrence, as only Charlie Moore, in 1980, had ever managed to hit for the cycle and steal multiple bases in the same game. In 100 games overall, he batted .234/.364/.429 with 35 extra base hits (16 home runs), 66 runs scored and 14 stolen bases.

He was the hero of the Jays' opening day win over the Tampa Bay Rays on July 24, 2020, as he led off the 4th inning by surprising P Charlie Morton with a bunt single, triggering a three-run inning, then followed that with a three-run homer off Morton in the 5th as the Jays won the game, 6-4. He batted .250 while appearing in 59 of the team's 60 games during that pandemic-shortened season, adding 8 homers, scoring 41 runs and driving in 28. His OPS+ was a very good 122 as he consolidated his status as one of the young players on which the Blue Jays were planning to build their next championship team. He was the team's principal second baseman, but also started games in right field and at third base. Thanks to the expanded playoffs that season, the Jays played a series against the Rays - the Wild Card Series - and went 1 for 8 with a double.

In 2021, the Blue Jays signed Marcus Semien to play second base and he gave them a tremendous season before becoming a free agent. However, for Biggio that meant a change of position, as he moved to third base. He was injured in spring training, struggled defensively, and never really got comfortable in his new role, spending extended time on the injured list. He played 79 games, batting .224 with 7 homers and 27 RBIs, for an OPS+ of 84. By the time the season was winding down and the Jays were in full pennant race mode, he was increasingly replaced by Santiago Espinal as the starting third baseman, as Espinal was having a much better season, both with the bat and the glove. In 2022, he was back starting at second base as the only left-handed batter in Toronto's regular starting line-up, but once again Espinal was close on his tail. Indeed, in the team's first two games, he was pinch-hit for by Espinal in both games, and while he went 0 for 3, Espinal hit a run-scoring double in both contests, both of them key to Jays wins. Espinal soon won the starting job and turned it into an appearance in the All-Star Game, while Biggio struggled to find playing time and had to deal with injuries. He finished at .202 in 97 games with 6 homers and 24 RBIs for an OPS+ of 95. He did not appear in the postseason.

In 2023, he found himself at a logjam at second base, fighting for playing time with Espinal and Whit Merrifield, acquired late the previous season. While Espinal struggled badly and was nowhere near reproducing his first-half numbers from the previous year, it was Merrifield who was taking full advantage of his playing time to claim a quasi-regular job. So Biggio was once again scrapping for playing time wherever he could get it, not the greatest way to get his bat going. He was able to play more when Espinal went down with a hamstring injury at the end of May, but he was not giving his manager much reason to write his name in the starting line-up, as he was hitting just .185 with 4 homers and 8 RBIs when the month ended.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Related Sites[edit]