A current example
As I look at the current roster the Blue Jays, I can see at least a couple of examples of this concept we’re looking at today. While I could make the argument for a few players, I’m going to focus on Cavan Biggio.
The 26 year old had a very impressive start to his MLB career over parts of his first two seasons from 2019-20, and entered last year looking to complete his first full 162 game big league campaign. Unfortunately Biggio was held to just 79 games while he dealt with a variety of injuries. The nagging problem for Biggio was an issue with a nerve in his neck, and I really believe that it impacted his play more than most people seem to realize.
Over his first two years that covered 159 games, Biggio earned 5.0 bWAR, which is an extremely impressive number. Part of that value comes from his defensive versatility, which is something that I believe will be a greater focus going forward for him. That said, it’s entirely possible that Biggio could return to second base on a full-time basis in 2022, especially after last season’s transition to third was pretty rocky.
On top of last year’s problems staying healthy and reaching his previous levels of production, I also think we had some unfair expectations for the son of a Hall of Famer. Not only does he have to live up to the name on the back of his jersey, but he also moved through the minor league system with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, two players that are already viewed as All-Star calibre big leaguers or better. That’s an awfully high bar of expectations for Biggio to meet, and while he was able to keep pace for a long time, I don’t think he was ever that well suited to keep up over the long haul. That doesn’t mean he can’t find a way to be an important contributor though.
I truly believe that the biggest thing Biggio needs after last year’s struggles is a fresh start and a clean bill of health. On top of that, I’m sure a little more support from Blue Jays fans wouldn’t hurt either.