In a breakout season filled with thrilling moments, Cavan Biggio might have topped them all.Toronto's No. 9 prospect homered twice, including a two-out, walk-off blast in the ninth that helped Double-A New Hampshire rally past Altoona, 7-6, on Thursday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
In a breakout season filled with thrilling moments, Cavan Biggio might have topped them all.
Toronto's No. 9 prospect homered twice, including a two-out, walk-off blast in the ninth that helped Double-A New Hampshire rally past Altoona, 7-6, on Thursday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
"That was my first walk-off homer, but honestly, it felt like another home run," Biggio said. "That changed as I started rounding third and saw my teammates waiting for me at home plate. It got pretty surreal at that point."
Biggio added a double and a walk to finish 3-for-4 with a career-high four runs scored and three RBIs. He entered the game hitless in his last 14 at-bats and 2-for-21 over five games.
The 23-year-old flew out to right field in the bottom of the first inning before cutting New Hampshire's 4-0 deficit in half in the third with a two-run homer to right. Biggio led off the sixth with a double to right and scored on Blue Jays No. 23 prospect Santiago Espinal's sacrifice fly. He walked and scored on a two-RBI double by Max Pentecost in the eighth as the Fisher Cats tied the score, 6-6.
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Biggio stepped to the plate with two outs and no runners on in the ninth and worked the count to 3-0. He deposited the next pitch by Altoona reliever Tate Scioneaux over the fence in right-center for his second career multi-homer game. The infielder went deep twice against Richmond on Aug. 1.
"I was facing a pretty good pitcher who ended the eighth making some good pitches," the Houston native said. "He fell behind me and [New Hampshire manager John Schneider] gave me the green light. I was looking to do one thing with it and he gave me a good pitch to do it with.
"The hardest thing about baseball is trying to stay consistent. Consistency comes with having a good routine and attacking the daily tasks that come with being a ballplayer. I hadn't been feeling really great at the plate over the last few days, so I came to the park and switched things up a little in the [batting] cage."
The son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio batted .233/.342/.363 with 33 extra-base hits -- including 11 homers -- in 127 games during his first full-season campaign last year with Class A Advanced Dunedin. He broke out in 2018, batting .257/.397/.532 with 47 extra-base hits in 112 games for New Hampshire. Biggio paces the Eastern League with 26 home runs and his 88 RBIs trail only Altoona's Will Craig, who has 94.
"I made a few adjustments this past offseason with my approach," the Notre Dame product said. "But my intent was not to hit more home runs. I focused on keeping the bat path in the zone for as long as possible and lowered my hands a bit. That created more loft and resulted in more fly balls. When I'm squaring them up, they're going over the fence. But it wasn't something I was trying to do."
Even during an eye-popping season that included his second straight midseason All-Star selection, Biggio won't say he's surprised at what he's done.
"The expectations we have as players are to be the best we can be," he said. "I'm my biggest critic, and to me, everything can always be better. As a competitor, you want to get better every day and that's what I'm trying to do."
Blue Jays No. 2 prospect Bo Bichette -- MLB.com's ninth overall -- doubled, walked and scored once.
Travis Bergen (3-1) worked around a hit and a walk in the ninth to pick up the win. Starter T.J. Zeuch, Toronto's 15th-ranked prospect, was tagged with five runs -- four earned -- on six hits and a walk in four innings. He struck out three
Tyler Gaffney homered and drove in three runs for Altoona. Pirates No. 5 prospectCole Tucker went 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, a run scored and his 30th stolen base of the season. Craig -- Pittsburgh's 16th-ranked prospect -- doubled, singled and walked. Pirates No. 2 Ke'Bryan Hayes went 0-for-5, snapping his hitting streak at 16 games -- the longest by any Curve player this season.
Scioneaux (2-3) surrendered a run on one hit with one walk and three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings.
Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB.