Cavan Biggio Adapts Quickly To The Outfield
The Blue Jays covet positional flexibility in their players, and in a deep farm system it’s becoming a necessarily skill to open up pathways to the Toronto.
That’s why second baseman Cavan Biggio spent the vast majority of his time in the Arizona Fall League in the outfield, a somewhat unusual step with a player recently crowned MVP of the Double-A Eastern League.
The 2016 fifth-rounder out of Notre Dame slugged 26 home runs with 99 RBIs while batting .252/.388/.499 for New Hampshire.
The 23-year-old Biggio capped off a breakout season by hitting .262/.405/.415 in 19 games in the AFL. He is among the glut of middle infielders the Blue Jays have in both the majors and minors. Already he has shuffled off to play some first base and third base just to get at-bats.
Adding the ability to play the outfield, primarily right field in the AFL, creates more options for both him and the organization.
"I always knew I could move out to other positions and help the team win,” said Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio. "Getting to the big leagues has been the goal since Day One when I saw my dad doing it as a young kid . . . It’s all pretty positive. It’s all pretty exciting.”
Biggio took to the outfield naturally despite little game experience there. He played the corner outfield positions just a handful of times in 2017 and 2018.
Playing the outfield reminds Biggio of his days playing wide receiver for his high school football team in Houston.
"You have a lot more time than you do in the infield," he said. "In the outfield . . . you don’t have to be perfect to get that hard-hit ball three steps to your left. Communicating with the center fielder is a big thing I’ve noticed and (also) not trying to rush everything to the infield, because then things can spiral out of control.”
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• The Blue Jays promoted hitting coordinator Guillermo Martinez to big league hitting coach, replacing the fired Brook Jacoby. Martinez rejoined the Blue Jays in 2018 after four seasons in the Cubs' organization.
• Righthander Nate Pearson, who threw just 1.2 innings in 2018 because of a fractured forearm, closed out the Arizona Fall League strong with nine shutout innings in his final two outings. Overall, the flame-throwing Pearson posted a 6.20 ERA in 20.1 frames over six starts, striking out 23.