Blue Jays: Cavan Biggio not so quietly becoming a star
Cavan Biggio has been doing a little bit of everything for the Blue Jays, and in the process he’s not so quietly becoming a very important contributor.
The Blue Jays have had a lot of big name prospects that have been hyped in a big way over the last number of years. First there was Vladimir Guerrero Jr‘s assault on the minor leagues, then Bo Bichette‘s ascension to the top of the prospect list. Even after they graduated, Nate Pearson kept them with a prospect in most top 100 prospects lists, and Austin Martin could even continue the trend until he arrives at the highest level.
Occasionally lost in the sea of young stars have been some very talented players, and perhaps none more underrated than Cavan Biggio. That being said, with the way the 25-year old has been playing so far in 2020, he’s making it pretty much impossible to ignore him.
He got off to a bit of a slow start, and the numbers still don’t fully reflect what he’s done so far for Charlie Montoyo’s lineup, but his slash line has been creeping up lately. After hitting just .171/.227/.317 out of the second spot in the lineup to start the year, Biggio has posted a .289/.449/.658 mark since moving to the leadoff spot, and he’s consistently been sparking the offence. On the season he’s now up to .235/.347/.494 with six home runs, three doubles, 12 RBI, and three stolen bases. He’s also earned 0.5 bWAR as well through just 20 starts and one appearance off the bench.
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As solid as his contribution to the lineup has been, Biggio has been invaluable to the Blue Jays on the defensive side of the ball. He’s primarily played at second base, but he’s been moved all over the diamond, including his debut in centre on Thursday that meant he’s now played all three outfield positions. It’s given Montoyo a great deal of flexibility to get Joe Panik into the lineup at second base and rest one of his outfielders, or to help the skipper to roll out a group of stronger match-ups. We’ve also seen him lineup at first and third base in the past before as well, and I’m sure he’d be no worse than Brandon Drury as an emergency shortstop.
The good news keeps coming too, as son of a Hall of Famer is far from a concern for his skipper when it comes to a platoon situation. As a left-handed hitter, he’s actually performed better against same-siders, slashing .273/.467/.318, as opposed to .220/.292/.559 against righties. The sample sizes are admittedly small at this stage, but he’s at least proven that he’s more than capable of playing every day, regardless of who is starting for the opposition, or which glove he’s being asked to wear.
The Blue Jays have talked about a desire for a “super-sub” type of player in the mold of a Ben Zobrist or a Marwin Gonzalez, and it appears they may have found their man in Biggio. That said, I feel like he’s emerging as a legitimate star, and one of the most important players on the roster, and you don’t make that guy into the utility-man.
Instead, I really like the way that Montoyo has used him so far this season, and I’d be in favour of continuing this way as long as there are no issues. He can still be the primary second baseman, but having him capable of moving around the diamond allows others to get a rest, for greater roster flexibility, and as important as anything, the strongest lineup you can put on the field on any given day.
Add in the fact that he’s been touted as a great teammate and a young leader in the clubhouse, the Blue Jays have something special in the Texas native, even if he doesn’t always get the brightest spotlight.