Jays Journal contributors will be authoring Toronto Blue Jays report cards based on how each player performed in 2020. In this edition, we take a look at Cavan Biggio.
There wasn’t a player on the Blue Jays roster, in my view that made a bigger impact on the season than Cavan Biggio in 2020. I wrote a piece a couple weeks back explaining about the versatility with Biggio and how much he can help the team going forward.
Despite the season being just 60 games this year, Biggio was able to start games in all three outfield positions, third base, as well as his normal second base position. When you look at the depth through the Blue Jays organization, you can see they are filled with talent at the infield position and a little shy in the outfield. Like his father Craig Biggio, Cavan is a natural second basemen, however, there were seasons where Craig would play full-time in the outfield to help his team out, and his son has similar abilities. Cavan Biggio would play the outfield in 18 different games (129 Innings) and make just one error on 31 chances.
Biggio finished second overall on the team in WAR and first among offensive players with a +1.7 which prorated over a full season is a +5.1. He led the team in OBP (.375), walks (41), runs (41) and doubles (16) while having a perfect 6 for 6 success rate at stolen bases. Biggio also led the team in plate appearances with 265, all the while he only hit into two double plays.
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Biggio was equally good at home as he was on the road, as he hit .250 in both spots and his numbers were almost identical down the board. When it came to hitting against the lefties or righties, Biggio was drastically better against left-handed pitchers. Against the southpaws, Biggio had a line (BA/OBP/OPS) of .299/.460/.908, however against righties was just .229/.333/.758.
Biggio was known to be very patient at the plate and caused pitchers to go counts deep into counts. This would help later in the season as he would then attack the ball early in the count. He starting swinging at more first pitches later in the season and finished 7-21 when he swung during a 0-0 count. Biggio also showed he would be gritty with two outs to extend innings, as he hit best with two outs and had a line of .281/.438/1.052, and he also had his most home runs when trying to extend the inning.
Room for Improvement
It was well published that Biggio appeared to consistently get the raw end of the deal on called third strikes. Biggio has a very good eye at the plate and knows the strike zone almost too well and better than most umpires, which cost him some at-bats. I’d like to see an approach in 2021 where he will foul off more borderline pitches with two strikes.
Teams have deployed a heavy shift against against Biggio and since handles the bat very well, accompanied by where he hits in the line-up, I’d like to see him work on being able to lay down some bunts down the third base line. In 2019 Biggio was able to place a bunt into shallow left field for a double, I could see him being able to put them down the line for extra bases more often.
With the potential players climbing up the ranks, where do you see Cavan Biggio playing in the future and where do you rank him on the team for importance?