It’s crazy to think Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio are already entering their fourth season together at the Major League level. Seems like yesterday when they were kids being hyped in the minors for being part of the Blue Jays’ next era. They played at the same level in the minors from 2017 to 2019, and one by one they all started to get their calls to the active roster but then were all back together a short three months later. All three are second-generation big leaguers, with their fathers setting the bars high for their sons.
They were highly touted – especially as a trio – prospects with fans counting down until the time would come where they would make an impact on the Jays’ new era. When I think back to the days when the media began to follow the trio in the minors, I probably thought back then around 2021-2022 is when this group is going to make a big impact.
However, while fans have been spoiled with these homegrown talents, it’s not fair to look at them all through the same lens. Vladdy and Bo are on different levels than Biggio. Normally I’d say if one of the three turned out to be a star with two being supporting casts, that’s a solid outcome, but in this case, they got two stars! And it’s nothing against Biggio but says more about Bo and Vladdy. There are more Biggio’s in the game than there are the other two and that’s okay. Biggio is a good player overshadowed by the two he was brought up with and even more with the other stars on this Blue Jays squad. And I think that is perfect for him because Biggio needs to just relax and play his game. He takes heat because he’s not up to Vladdy and Bo’s talent.
Playing in the big leagues is tough, especially when you’re placed in an uncomfortable spot. Opportunities are such a huge part of any player’s success. There are so many players that are good enough to have a big-league career but either fail in the majors or stay in the minors because opportunity in their organization just isn’t there. And opportunity can mean many things.
In Biggio’s case, this guy is a pure 2B. Yes, he’s athletic enough to play 3B, 1B, and the outfield, but only temporarily. I wouldn’t classify him as a “utility” guy. Second base is this kid’s primary position. He is not an everyday 3B, but he was put in a spot where he needed to be comfortable there if he wanted an everyday job on this team and as shown, he wasn’t comfortable, and it hurt him on both sides of the ball.
Cavan Biggio has been given the opportunity to go back to his first couple of years’ production by playing his familiar 2B again with the Blue Jays.
Now he’s been given the opportunity to return to his most comfortable position on the diamond. He recently said to Hazel Mae how he can now focus more on hitting. Good players continue to put their work in on defense but when you’re playing a familiar position, it just becomes daily repetition during workouts and allows you to put more emphasis on the hardest aspect of the game – hitting. When you’re comfortable on the field, the game becomes fun again.
Biggio took a step backward in combination due to injuries and being taken out of what he knows best. In his 2019 and 2020 seasons, he played a combined 159 games with 107 runs, 112 walks, 115 OPS+ and went 20/20 in stolen bases. If he can regain that form, mixed with some good defense, I’m sure the Jays will take that sort of production from the bottom of the lineup every day and twice on Sundays!
With four years of control left it’s hard to say this is a make-or-break season for him. However, the Blue Jays have some kids in the wings on their way and management hasn’t been shy in making moves to improve this club (Semien last year & JRam rumours this year), so in another breathe he needs to step it up this season if he wants to remain part of this core – at least in an everyday role.
Poor performance mixed with either the kids in the minors performing well or if a 2B becomes available on the trade block could alter his destiny. One major difference between Biggio and the other two is age: Biggio was taken three rounds after Bo in the 2016 draft and is three years older (four older than Vladdy). He is entering his age 27 season, which still gives him time to grow, but he’s no longer a spring chicken and hitting an age where players begin to take strides in their game.
I’m rooting for this kid to stay healthy and hope he can take some pressure off his shoulders and just have some fun out there. Try not to do things he can’t. Play some good defense, continue to have a good eye at the plate, turn some of those K’s into contact or walks that can result in scoring a bunch of runs – which could be a huge number if he’s on base for this top of the order. He does that from the 8-9 spot in this lineup, he’ll be perfectly fine!