Sons of Baseball-archy: Craig Biggio’s youngest etching out his own path

Being the son of a Hall of Famer isn’t easy. It’s even more difficult when you are trying to etch out your own identity as your own unique ballplayer. Cavan Biggio has quietly been doing that, stepping out of his father’s spotlight.

Craig Biggio of course, was the Houston Astros Hall of Fame catcher, second baseman and outfielder. He was drafted in the first round of the 1987 MLB Draft, selected 22nd overall out of Seton Hall. He made his big league debut just one year later, on June 26, 1988. He took his last swing on September 30, 2007 — all of them in a Houston Astros uniform. In today’s era of big contracts and trade-happy general managers, Biggio is amongst the last of a dying breed of player who played two decades all with the team that drafted him.

Biggio went on to achieve greatness much more quietly than others. He wasn’t even the biggest name on his team for most of his career, as big-hitting Jeff Bagwell often stole the show. He, Bagwell and Derek Bell would form the Killer Bees atop the Houston Astros in 1995 (adding Sean Berry in 1996 and, later, Lance Berkman as well) as one of the dominant teams of his era.

He transformed himself from a catcher into a Gold Glove-winning second baseman that became one of the most likable players in the game. When it was all said and done, Biggio retired with fine career numbers. He slashed .281/.363/.433 and was a member of the 3,000 Hit Club with 3,060. He added on 291 home runs, 668 doubles, 414 stolen bases and 285 hit by pitches, good for second all-time. It took him a couple of tries, but in 2015, with a vote of 82.7 percent, Biggio was immortalized in the hallowed walls of Cooperstown.

Cavan Biggio isn’t the first son of Craig’s to be drafted. Conor Biggio, Cavan’s older brother and former teammate with the Irish, was selected by the Houston Astros one year prior to Cavan. Coming off a nice debut, Cavan is looking to make his own name for himself with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Cavan Biggio was always in the spotlight, first drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 29th round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of high school but decided to bring his talents to South Bend like his brother before him. Once at Notre Dame, Cavan transformed his game, becoming a good-contact-making, well-disciplined hitter.

His freshman season was rather unimpressive as he hit .246/.329/.353. He quickly learned to be patient at the plate like his father once was and saw his numbers improve. His sophomore campaign saw him raise his batting average to .258, but even more impressively, he saw his on-base percentage spike to .406 once he learned to take a walk. His defense — although always a bit error-prone — was noticed at the end of his sophomore season as he took home the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove.

Cavan broke out his junior year and boosted his draft stock. He slashed .311/.473/.454 with 61 hits including 12 doubles, two triples and four home runs. He was a perfect 14-for-14 on the basepaths and. taking a lesson from his father, took six hit by pitches to get on base. He struck out just 32 times in 196 at bats while walking 54, nearly doubling the amount of free passes over Ks. It translated into his ticket to professional baseball.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected Cavan 162nd overall in the 2016 MLB Draft. The youngest Biggio now joins a farm system that has both Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and Bo Bichette, so the Blue Jays seem to understand and appreciate the value of baseball DNA and growing up around the game.

For more on Cavan Biggio, head on over to Today’s Knuckleball for my full feature by clicking on the link below:

Baseball Bloodlines: The return of the Killer Bee

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