It won’t be Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and it shouldn’t be Bo Bichette. You should expect it to be Cavan Biggio. Expect the former Notre Dame second baseman to be the first son of a big leaguer to get called up to the Toronto Blue Jays.
With Vladdy Jr swinging it like Ted Williams, Bichette, starting to show signs of himself for the first time this season; still, neither of the two will be called up for a variety of reasons. But Biggio should be. The 5th round selection in the 2016 draft is indeed the player to keep an eye on.
The least notable name and the lowest ranked prospect out of the big three in AA New Hampshire, Biggio is tearing the cover off the ball this season. For a guy who only hit 15 home runs in three seasons with the Fighting Irish, his 12 bombs in just over 40 games with the Fisher Cats has been a pleasant surprise.
With below average projected tools all across the board, the hard-nosed infielder has surprisingly taken off this season. And with his current success, it makes sense for his own sake and the sake of the big club, that the son of Craig Biggio starts his career off in the bigs a total of 30 years after his father.
At 23 years of age, his minor league development is close to being maxed out. Most players have, at the MiLB level, reached their ceiling in a rounded up to 25-year-old age. If a player is in the minors past that magic number, it’s usually because they are a replacement level player at best, but there are of course exceptions.
For Biggio, who has been projected to be a fringe big leaguer all along, pulling the string now while he’s rolling is the way to go. A 23-year-old hitting .300 with elite peripheral numbers is more valuable than a 24-year-old hitting .305 if all else is even, is it not? There’s no need to wait.
His style of play is refreshing, especially when you compare it to a player on the 2017-2018 Blue Jays. It’s no wonder he’s Craig Biggio’s son; the guy who tried and failed to stretch his 3000th hit single into a double. He’s the type of player these fans need to see, especially after the recent letdown of their once fan favorite closer.
But can he hit Big League pitching? Why not find out now?
There are not a lot of risks from a front office perspective. What they’ve gotten offensively from a defensive-first Biggio in AA has been a bonus. Remember he wasn’t expected to rake. If called up, his performance will give a clear indication of what he is pretty much right off the bat.
Yes, there’s not necessarily a full-blown need for Biggio. With Devon Travis back up to the bigs, and Yangervis Solarte touching each position in the infield, another second baseman who can’t play shortstop isn’t ideal.
But a Biggio is ideal on any team.
More than positional need, there is an intangible need. Like mentioned earlier, the kid plays the game the right way; hard. Biggio would exemplify hope and excitement; something fans aren’t seeing on Rogers Sportsnet at 7:07. Biggio represents the future of Blue Jays Baseball.
When I think of Biggio, I remember the 2003 Philadelphia Phillies. I remember an older team calling up a 24-year-old second baseman in Chase Utley. A gritty infielder with a short stroke who exemplified Philadelphia Baseball. He changed the culture of the team and became a fan favorite in the city of brotherly love.
Biggio could be that guy in Toronto.
And if you squint, you may be able to see Chase Utley sprinting to second base on a bloop single off the bat of Biggio.
He may not ever be a starter, and he definitely has a longshot of ending up in Cooperstown like his father. But, right now there is no doubt about it, the Blue Jays need Cavan Biggio.
(Photo Credits: Cliff Welch/MiLB.com, Jason Behnken/Associated Press, Shari Sommerfeld/MiLB.com)