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Cavan Biggio: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

Now that the calendar has flipped to February, it's time to begin mapping out strategy in earnest for your 2020 fantasy baseball drafts. That includes identifying potentially undervalued targets, often referred to in the popular parlance as "sleepers."

Anyone who has read my work in the past knows my feelings toward that term. It's too often co-opted and applied to players who aren't really flying under anyone's radar, especially in light of the voluminous data we have available. Still, there is profit to be made on many players, for a variety of reasons. Getting bogged down in semantics risks missing the forest for the trees.

Second base is an interesting position to navigate this season, as many of the top options come with more question marks than typically seen in the elite tiers. 10 players at the keystone are going inside the top 100 draft selections. A bit further down the board, you'll find the Toronto Blue Jays' second sacker, Cavan Biggio.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

A Successful Debut

The son of Hall of Famer Craig, who also played second base, Biggio was selected by Toronto in the fifth round of the 2016 Amateur Draft. He entered last season as a name to monitor for many fantasy owners after producing an .887 OPS, 26 home runs, and 20 stolen bases at Double-A in 2018. He looked even better at Triple-A, slashing .312/.448/.514 and earning a promotion to the majors in late May.

The 24-year-old quickly moved from the bottom of the lineup into more valuable real estate, spending some time in the cleanup spot before parking himself in the #2 spot of the Blue Jays' batting order for good at the end of July. That slot made a lot of sense, as only three other players (minimum 400 plate appearances) boasted a higher walk rate than Biggio's 16.5% and no batter swung at fewer pitches outside of the strike zone. Passivity came at a price, however, as he struck out in 28.6% of his trips to the plate despite an above-average 8.7% swinging-strike rate.

As a result of that inflated strikeout rate, Biggio hit only .234, but he made a positive impact in all the counting stats with 16 HR, 14 SB, 66 R, and 48 RBI in 100 games.

 

2020, In More Ways Than One

Biggio will need to be a bit more aggressive at the plate moving forward in order to reach his ceiling. If he can turn even a handful of those "caught looking" plate appearances into hits, he'll become a significantly more attractive fantasy asset. Expecting him to hit for average is probably too optimistic given the extreme fly ball tendencies in his batted ball profile and the difficulties he had with off-speed pitches as a rookie.

While not a burner, Biggio is an above-average runner with good instincts on the base paths. That's borne out by the fact that he was successful on all 14 of his stolen base attempts as a rookie. When combined with his pop and prime position in the lineup, there's definitely a lot to like in his fantasy outlook.

Projection systems have him more or less repeating his debut performance across a larger sample of games. A 20/20 season is a real possibility. That's pretty appealing from the 13th second baseman off the board (132.9 ADP). Biggio likely won't be a star, but those are in short supply at the keystone anyway. At worst, he should be a high-end MI option.

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