After working his outfield chops last fall in the Arizona Fall League, Cavan Biggio hadn’t played out there this year yet. That changed on Tuesday night, and it could be a sign of things to come for the talented 24 year old.
The Blue Jays have an enviable glut of infielders in their minor league system, and the ones at the big league level are performing very well at the moment as well. Between the recent performances of Brandon Drury, Eric Sogard, and Freddy Galvis, the Blue Jays have been just fine at the keystone, and have Alen Hanson for some extra support as well.
Those names were expected to help cover the positions in the early part of the season, but the Blue Jays had hoped that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. would lock down MLB playing time as well. He does appear to be coming around, especially on offence, and it’s likely that he’ll re-join the big league ranks sooner than later and be a positive contributor again.
When you add in bright futures of Bo Bichette, Kevin Smith, Jordan Groshans, Santiago Espinal and more, it’s hard to imagine room for everyone. In fact, lately we’ve been talking about just that at Jays Journal quite a bit, and how there’s a good chance that one or more of these talented infielders are going to have to make a position change, or at least add that flexibility. It appears the Blue Jays have started to do just that with arguably their best minor leaguer so far in 2019, Cavan Biggio.
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The 24 year old was the Eastern League MVP last season in Double-A and has picked up right where he left off last season now that he’s moved up a level and is playing with the Buffalo Bisons. He’s played a mix of second, third, and first base so far, which have been his primary positions throughout his MiLB career, but he also spent some time working on playing in the outfield corner during the Arizona Fall League. Despite a successful audition late last year, he hadn’t seen any time out there yet this season, that is until Tuesday night.
I’m not suggesting that Biggio hasn’t or can’t play himself into the starting second base job, but adding the ability to play in the outfield will get him to the big leagues faster, and might help him fit in Toronto for the long term. His power bat should play in the outfield and he’s athletic enough that I’m confident he can be at least average, and now is the time to see if that’s a feasible solution. Being an older prospect, I don’t think you have to worry about messing with his development in the same way that a position change may bug a guy like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is just 20 years old.
Not every prospect turns into a star, or even a serviceable MLB starter, but if the Blue Jays want to maximize what they have in their minor league system, this is a wise development for a guy like Biggio. Without him their future infield could be overstocked between Guerrero Jr. (3B/1B), Bichette (SS), Gurriel Jr. (2B/SS), Smith (3B/2B/SS), Groshans (3B/SS), and Rowdy Tellez. Again, there should be depth to trade from later on, but the more homegrown talent you can develop and utilize, the better off you’re going to be.
There’s little to no doubt that Biggio is ready to take on the challenge of big league pitching, but as I wrote the other day, it could be a challenge to find him full-time at bats in Toronto right now. If he can confidently add the outfield to his resume then that makes things a lot easier, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Toronto before the end of the month.