As the fantasy baseball season winds down and the offseason approaches, Last Word on Baseball is kicking off a new series to get you through the lonely days if you missed out on the playoff festivities. We will be spotlighting players to keep an eye on for the 2020 season. These could be exciting youngsters or veterans returning to form. Toronto Blue Jays rookie Cavan Biggio leads us off. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays, 1B/2B/OF
It took some time, but Cavan Biggio has begun to look more like his old man. The son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio wasn’t the first Hall of Fame heir to make a splash with the Toronto Blue Jays. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had all the hype heading into the 2019 season. On the other hand, Biggio was never a top-rated overall prospect, though he did rank #9 within the Jays system in 2018 via MLB Pipeline. He got the call on May 24, but only recently has he really started to string anything worthwhile together. Just about every fantasy season is in or entering championship week, so there may still be time for you to add Biggio for some infield help should you need it.
Struggles Early On
For the vast majority of the past few months, it has looked like any hope of Biggio becoming the fantasy star many hoped for was all but lost. Despite a very strong showing in 43 AAA games this year, where he slashed .312/.448/.514, his MLB numbers had not been exciting by any means. His batting average has hovered just above the Mendoza line the entire time. There had been little power or run production to speak of. July and August were especially bad months – he combined for a .207/.337/.356 line in 47 games. Biggio had never had many problems with strikeouts until seeing a steady diet of big-league pitching. He went from having more walks than strikeouts in AAA to whiffing at a 34% rate.
September has been a different story. Fantasy owners love to keep an extra keen eye out for September call-ups to either stash away in a keeper league or to target for a redraft. Biggio’s play lately has earned himself consideration at one of the shallower positions. So far this month, he’s slashed .340/.450/.660. He’s hit three homers and added 11 RBI, raising his average from .214 to .235 in the process. Biggio hit for the cycle on September 17th against the Baltimore Orioles. In that game, he went 4-5 and added a stolen base and four RBI. Six of his last seven games have been multi-hit efforts. In his last eight games, Biggio has 13 runs and has driven in at least one run in six of those games.
The improved batting average is a great sign for fantasy purposes moving forward. Biggio has always been an on-base wizard. Despite only playing in 91 games, the rookie is still second on the team in walks. His OBP in AAA this year was a whopping .448. If you happen to be in a league that values on-base percentage, Biggio is a huge asset. Batting average aside, his season totals are nothing to scoff at. Paced out to 162 games, he’d have 109 R, 27 HR, 82 RBI, and 23 SB. Numbers like that at second base would sit well with any fantasy owner, no matter the batting average. But one would imagine Biggio has the ability to contribute nicely in that category as well, and you can always count on a terrific on-base percentage regardless. To top things off, since the departure of Marcus Stroman, Biggio is the current team leader in WAR as well. The batting average may scare off other owners, but Cavan Biggio should be a crystal clear dot on your radar come 2020.