Behind some key adjustments at the plate, Cavan Biggio went from being another son of a former big leaguer in the Blue Jays' deep system to one of the organization's better prospects in 2018.Selected in the fifth round of the 2016 Draft out of Notre Dame, Biggio reached full-season ball
Behind some key adjustments at the plate, Cavan Biggio went from being another son of a former big leaguer in the Blue Jays' deep system to one of the organization's better prospects in 2018.
Selected in the fifth round of the 2016 Draft out of Notre Dame, Biggio reached full-season ball during his professional debut but was challenged the following year at Class A Advanced Dunedin in the Florida State League, where he hit .233/.342/.363 with 11 homers in 127 games.
Unsatisfied with his production, Biggio used the offseason to revamp his swing, with the goal of driving the ball in the air more consistently in 2018.
He did precisely that, as the 23-year-old erupted to hit an Eastern League-best 26 home runs while leading New Hampshire to a circuit championship.
"I lowered my hands a little bit and had more of load," said the Blue Jays' No. 9 prospect. "I think that's where you see the power numbers coming from."
Arizona Fall League overviews for all 30 teams
On top of the home runs, Biggio finished atop the Eastern League leaderboard in walks (100), slugging (.499) and OPS (.887) and ranked second in on-base percentage (.388) and RBIs (99). He also stole 20 bases, making him one of six Minor Leagues to accomplish the feat in 2018.
"I had to pick my spots, so it was a little tough at the end of the year, but I ended up getting it. 20 stolen bases was a goal of mine, and I'm just happy I could finish off with it," said Biggio, the Eastern League's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year.
Now continuing his season in the Arizona Fall League, Biggio is working to increase his defensive versatility in the outfield after shuffling between multiple infield positions at New Hampshire.
"I came up primarily as a second baseman and played a good bit of third and first base this year, so they just want me to add outfielder to the mix."
Luckily for Biggio, the ability to successfully bounce between any number of positions is a trait that runs in his family.
"Growing up my dad was able to go from catcher to second, center to left [field], back to second," said Biggio about his father, Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio.
"He always taught me that being in the lineup in the best part, it doesn't matter the position. Whatever you have to do to accommodate the best interests of the team and just attack it with a positive mindset."
Blue Jays hitters in the Fall League
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B -- After a regular season during which he flirted with a .400 average while reaching Triple-A at age 19, MLB Pipeline's No. 1 prospect has produced a .643 average (9-for-14) with four doubles and six RBIs in his first three games for Surprise, all three-pitcher performances.
Santiago Espinal, SS/2B/3B -- The Blue Jays' No. 22 prospect replaced Bo Bichette on Surprise's roster after Bichette was removed due to injuries. Acquired from Boston for Steve Pearce in late June, Espinal slashed .297/.356/.444 and set career highs with 10 homers, 27 doubles and 60 RBIs while handling multiple infield positions.
Blue Jays pitchers in the Fall League
Zach Jackson, RHP -- Jackson, Toronto's third-round pick from 2016, was highly effective in his first Double-A campaign as he posted a 2.47 ERA while holding hitters to a .142 clip over 43 games. The 23-year-old right-hander' plus curveball is his best weapon, and it helped him to amass 75 strikeouts in 62 innings (10.9 K/9). However, Jackson will need to make major gains with his control after issuing 54 total walks (7.8 BB/9).
Jackson McClelland, RHP -- The 6-foot-5 right-hander saved eight games while making 39 appearances in 2018, spending much of the year with Dunedin before a late-season bump to New Hampshire. He posted 57 strikeouts against 21 walks in 43 2/3 innings and held hitters to a .204 average between the two stops.
Shawn Morimando, LHP -- The 25-year-old left-hander reached the Majors with Cleveland back in 2016 but ultimately was released this past July after parts of eight years in the Indians' system. He made eight starts in the Minors, including four at Triple-A Buffalo, after being claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.
Nate Pearson, RHP -- MLB Pipeline's No. 90 overall prospect logged just 1 2/3 innings during the regular season after a line drive fractured his right arm during his first start. When healthy, however, the 6-foot-6 right-hander features a fastball that can hit triple digits, a plus slider and feel for both a curveball and changeup.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.