The excitement surrounding Cavan Biggio's selection in 2016 was palpable. As a top prospect entering that year's draft, the Blue Jays were somehow 'allowed' to pick him in the fifth round.
Given the hope surrounding Biggio, his prompt rise through the Blue Jays' system was almost expected on some levels. However, this didn't make his ascension any less impressive.
Biggio went on to make his Major League debut on May 24, 2019, and within three days had his inaugural hit and then first home run. The biggest highlight came in September however, when he became just the third player in franchise history to hit for the cycle.
An excellent rookie year
Biggio played 100 games in total, contributing 16 homers and 48 RBI, while forcing 71 walks. With the combination of his fine play at second base, he finished fifth in the voting for AL Rookie of the Year.
Given Biggio's relatively smooth transition to the majors, the world was seemingly his oyster. No one could -- or would -- have predicted his games played, homers, RBI and walks would all still represent single-season highs after four years with the Blue Jays.
A fall from grace
Through two seasons, all the analysis and projections had Biggio trending in the right direction, befitting his position as a former top prospect. Since then however, things have gone increasingly wrong for him.
Last year was a low point for Biggio, as he set single-season career lows pretty much across the board offensively. As much as he was still solid on defence, it wasn't enough to make up for his shortcomings with the bat.
Even so, there seemed to be genuine hope for the 28-year-old entering this season, after an excellent Spring Training.
All this aside, it didn't change the reality this was going to be Biggio's most crucial season yet in the majors. Unfortunately for everyone concerned, it appeared from early on that he just didn't have it in himself to take advantage of the opportunities presented to him as a left-handed bat, including the shift restrictions.
As we headed towards the end of May, Biggio's slash line and OPS had reached miserable depths at .127/.191/.238 and .429 respectively, incorporating just two homers and four RBI. Irrespective of his flawless 1.000 fielding percentage wherever he played on defence, keeping him on the roster was hurting the team more than helping them.
Has Biggio turned a corner? ........ Not so fast
Ever since however, Biggio has undergone a slight resurgence with hits in six of his past seven games heading into Thursday's series finale with Milwaukee. He's had two homers and four RBI, and seen his slash line improve to .185/.250/.358, with an OPS of .608.
Despite this recent surge however, it doesn't necessarily come across as him having finally figured things out. Rather, it seems more a case of too little too late for a player desperately fighting for his survival in Toronto.
It's not as if the Notre Dame alumni hasn't had similar short-term surges in each of his past two season. And really, 'short-term' is the key word, when considering his overall final offensive statistics for the 2021 and 2022 campaigns.
Fair or not, Biggio doesn't really get the benefit of the doubt anymore. The only way he is going to get people back on side and save his Blue Jays career, is by having his current hot streak last considerably longer than seven games.