In a season of rebuilding, finding something positive can be hard to find. For the Toronto Blue Jays, luckily the calling up of top prospects can change that. At the end of April, it was Vladimir Guerrero Jr., with his Hall of Fame Dad, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., present. On Friday night, Hall of Fame second baseman Craig Biggio would watch his son, Cavan, make his MLB debut.
The San Diego Padres beat the Blue Jays 6-3, and Cavan Biggio failed to register a hit in his debut. Regardless, optimism filled the air at Rogers Centre. Maybe it’s because it is Country Weekend at the ballpark in Toronto. But more likely, it is the continuation of young players, like Cavan Biggio, trying to transform the culture and identity of the Toronto Blue Jays for years to come.
Cavan Biggio Grew Up Wanting to Follow Father’s Baseball Footsteps
As Thomas Pannone and Cavan Biggio were driving up to Toronto, it didn’t sink in that they were big league players. Eventually they saw Toronto’s landmark skyscraper, the CN Tower, and the feeling finally hit in.
“It didn’t even hit me until I saw the skyline,” Biggio said. “It’s kind of breathtaking. I’ve been in New York City and Chicago and the skylines are beautiful, but I think here in Toronto, in Canada, it’s a bit different.”
Cavan was born and raised in Houston, Texas. As a little boy, he would often watch and idolize his Father, who tore up the big leagues for the Houston Astros. Also a seven-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner, Craig Biggio was a special player. Add in his 3,060 hits and Roberto Clemente Award, and he is easily one of the best second basemen ever. The bond that father and son share is unbreakable. This was evidenced by the special moment both Craig and Cavan shared before the Blue Jays game Friday night.
“He just always tell me to have fun and keep doing what I’m doing,” said Biggio.
Cavan Biggio’s path to the majors was long and winding. In 2016, he was a fifth-round draft pick. He never started to flourish until last year, when he generated 26 home-runs for Double-A New Hampshire. This season for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Biggio was hitting .306/.440/.507, with six home runs and 26 RBIs.
Toronto Blue Jays Have Every Reason to be Optimistic with Biggio
What is most impressive of all is Cavan Biggio’s ability to play multiple positions in the infield. While with the Bisons, the young prospect rotated to first, second and third base. The versatility that he possesses makes Biggio an irreplaceable asset, hoping to follow his Dad’s footsteps at second base.
“I saw a lot of opportunity to it,” Biggio said. “Being glued to one position limits yourself, I think. When they brought it to my attention I was all for it.”
As Biggio’s offensive production was rising in Buffalo, the Toronto Blue Jays had no choice but to bring him up to the big leagues. A team struggling to find consistent hitting and offense, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins hopes that Cavan Biggio can inject some optimism into the lineup as a utility player.
“He continued to show the power with the plate discipline (and) how much better he’s gotten on the infield is remarkable,” Atkins said. “He’s a really hard guy to put a ceiling on.”
On Friday night, history was made in Toronto. With Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio starting, it was the first time that sons of two former Hall of Famers were playing on the same team. Craig and the entire Biggio family made the trip up North, eager and enthusiastic about their son’s opportunity to play professional baseball.
“As dads, we’re done. We’re old guys now. But now you’re like ‘your kid’s in the big leagues.’ It doesn’t get any better for me than that,” said Craig Biggio.
There will be pain and excruciating losses as the season wears on for the Toronto Blue Jays. But for an organization looking to the future, it helps to have passionate youngsters like Cavan Biggio, who are grateful for the opportunity to play for Canada’s team.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images