JFTC TORONTO BLUE JAYS 2017 TOP PROSPECTS LIST, HONORABLE MENTIONS, CONTINUES WITH CAVAN BIGGIO
It’s that time of the season where we sit down and take a look at the Toronto Blue Jays’ top prospects. Before we move into counting down our list, we present our Honorable Mentions. If you have been reading, and we hope you have, you would a have a good idea of who those young players are. At this point, we have several other players who could be knocking on the door to the top prospect list. But, for one reason, or another, they haven’t quite been able to get there.
With a new management regime entering their first full season in 2016, the Toronto media questioned the new executives as to their intentions coming into the June amateur draft. One term that came up over and over, aside from the cliches of athleticism and make-up was “bloodlines.” With the signing of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. last summer as well, the Jays brass continued with their promise to pump the system full of players with family ties to The Bigs, drafting shortstop Bo Bichette and second baseman Cavan Biggio.
We’ll get to Bichette eventually, but today we’ll take a look at Biggio. The Jays grabbed him in the fifth round of the draft after what would be his final college season at Notre Dame.
Name: Cavan Biggio
Born: April 11, 1995
Draft: 5th Round, 2016, Toronto Blue Jays (29th Round, 2013, Philadelphia Phillies)
Previous Rank: None
Biggio is yet to crack any of the big prospect lists, but he’s worth paying attention to. It’s been stressed repeatedly that he’s not the same kind of player as his father, Craig Biggio, despite playing the same position and profiling in a similar way as a top-of-the-order hitter. After the selection was made last summer, Biggio was described as such by Blue Jays director of amateur scouting, Brian Parker:
[Cavan] gets on base, he battles, it’s a good top-of-the-order profile. He’s kind of a two-way guy at second. He has great make-up, grinder, all of that stuff, but we like him as a player and a guy that can play both ways offense and defense. He can really help us as a top-of-the-order bat.
The Blue Jays haven’t had a prospect profile like that in a while, so maybe the selection of Biggio in the fifth round was more of a organizational need than shooting for the higher-upside guys. He’s done well in the role so far, batting .273 with a .371 OBP in his first professional season, split between Vancouver and Lansing. While original scouting reports of Biggio had him as a below-average runner, he got much stronger in college (added nearly 30 pounds) and it seems to have contributed to his running, as he racked up three triples and stole 11 bases in 14 attempts.
|All Levels (1 Season)||62||280||238||27||65||12||3||0||26||11||3||33||35||.273||.371||.349||.720|
The most consistent praise of his game comes from his excellent ability to get on base. Biggio has a well-regarded eye at the plat, and it showed in his 11.7% walk rate this summer couple with a solid k rate of 12.5%. On-base skills are one of the hardest to develop in players, and coupling them with a decent aptitude on the bases and Biggio might just work out with his previous profiles.
Outlook for 2017
2017 will be an important season in the formative years of Cavan Biggio. He’ll likely stick at the Single-A level, and if he’s playing a full schedule by the end, he’ll be in good shape. Putting some daylight between his K% and BB% would be an ideal stepping stone in his development, but lifting a few of his doubles into home runs wouldn’t hurt either.
By 2020, Biggio will be 24, and his destiny of “prospect or not” should be well-established. While he’ll likely never reach the top of the organizational charts, the Blue Jays wouldn’t have selected him so high in 2016 as just a hat tip to his Hall of Fame father.
*Featured Image Credit: Joel Dinda UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.