Cavan Biggio remembers running the bases as a child at the Astrodome and being dejected when his father’s teams lost in the playoffs.
Thanks to a power surge this season, the Blue Jays prospect is getting closer to making his own big-league memories.
The son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio has shot up prospect rankings lists, and was hitting .264 with a .400 on-base percentage, a .538 slugging percentage and 19 home runs in Double-A New Hampshire through Monday.
“I knew from an early age that I wanted to do what my dad did,” Biggio, 23, said last Wednesday before the Eastern League All-Star Game in Trenton, New Jersey. Biggio went to high school in Houston before playing college baseball at Notre Dame and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. He primarily has played second base this season but also has appeared at third and first.
His father, Craig, starred at Kings Park High School and played all 20 of major-league seasons with the Astros.
“I have a lot of early memories: running around the Astrodome with my brother, playing catch in the outfield on family day . . . .just being around that whole Astros team in the early 2000s and late ’90s,” Cavan said.
Biggio is not the only member of Toronto’s loaded farm system (ranked second by MLB.com) with memories like that. His teammates in New Hampshire include Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette Jr., who also have famous baseball dads.
“You can look at Vlad, you look at Bo, you look at myself, you see similarities with our fathers, but you also see that we’re our own players,” Biggio said. “We’re here because of what we’ve done in our careers.”
Biggio said their shared experience as sons of former big-leaguers is not something they discuss often, but “more of an outspoken thing between us three.”
On being compared to their fathers, Biggio said, “I don’t think it’s very hard. I think the harder part was growing up and being labeled as Craig Biggio’s son. As I got older, I learned to embrace it more.”
Guerrero is the top-ranked prospect in the game by MLB.com and Bichette is seventh. Biggio is not as highly regarded but is trending in the right direction. He is the 19th- ranked prospect in Toronto’s system, after coming into the season unranked.
His plate discipline has been an asset since his professional debut, but he slugged only .349 in his first professional season (split between Low A and Class A) and .363 last season.
“The power, I’ve always had it, but I made some adjustments in the offseason,” said Biggio, who leads the Eastern League in home runs and is third in slugging.
“I lowered my hands a little bit to keep my bat path in the zone,” he added. “And I think I have a natural high finish, so that creates more fly balls and when I square balls, they just go in the air versus line drives.”
It is a different approach than that of his father, who hit .281 with a .433 slugging percentage for his career. Cavan said he speaks with his father “once every two weeks or so. When we talk, he’s more of a dad to me versus a Hall of Fame baseball player, so it’s nice having that.”