June 22, 2016
By Russell Dorn
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After hearing his name called by his brother, Conor, in the fifth round (Pick 162) of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, former University of Notre Dame baseball star Cavan Biggio quickly signed with the Toronto Blue Jays and reported to the organization’s class A short season affiliate, the Vancouver Canadians.
Biggio led off and started in the first game he was eligible Monday night against the Everett AquaSox. After getting his feet wet in game one, he wasted no time in making a big difference for his squad in game two.
Earning another start at second base Tuesday, Biggio recorded a perfect 4-for-4 night from the leadoff spot, tallying two doubles and two singles to go along with an RBI and two runs scored.
“I felt pretty good,” Biggio told MiLB reporter Robert Emrich after the game. “The results say that it felt pretty good. I was looking to be aggressive early in the count, got a few pitches to hit and got a few knocks.
“I was anxious to get everything going,” Biggio said. “First professional game was a very cool experience, a great atmosphere here in Vancouver. I wouldn’t say I was nervous. 0-for-3, I thought I had some good at-bats, but I had nothing to show for it. I guess today I had something to show for it.”
Biggio is one of five active Irish alums playing in MiLB. Here’s how the other players are doing:
1B Trey Mancini – Norfolk Tides (AAA) – International League – Baltimore Orioles
– Mancini began the 2016 season in Double A with the Bowie Baysox, but quickly moved up to Triple A after splitting .302/.413/.698 with 19 hits, four doubles, seven homers, 14 RBI, 10 walks and 18 runs scored in 17 games with the Baysox … in Norfolk, Mancini has been solid with a .282/.351/.456 split with 58 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, seven homers, 18 RBI, 20 walks and 25 runs scored in 54 games … for his minor league career, the Winter Haven, Florida native has a .310/.358/.484 split with 497 hits, 108 doubles, 13 triples, 48 homers, 239 RBI, 109 walks and 241 runs scored in 412 games.
RHP Dan Slania – Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA) – Eastern League – San Francisco Giants
– After being a reliever for his entire Notre Dame career (78 APP) and the first 141 appearances of his professional career, Slania has started on the mound in each of his last five games with some early success … during that time he has lowered his ERA from 5.32 to 3.19 and posted two scoreless outings … he hit a high of 6.1 innings of work in his last start Tuesday night.
3B Eric Jagielo – Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA) – Southern League – Cincinnati Reds
– A piece of the trade in December that sent MLB All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman, Eric Jagielo has 40 hits, eight doubles, one triple, four homers, 16 RBI, 27 walks and 14 runs scored in 58 games.
C Joe Hudson – Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA) – Southern League – Cincinnati Reds
– Since moving up to Double A to start the 2016 season, Hudson has played in 34 games and posted 19 hits, eight doubles, seven RBI, 19 walks and 13 runs scored.
Two other former Irish pitching standouts play for the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League, an independent professional league located primarily in the Northeast. Here’s more information on Brian Dupra and Cole Johnson:
RHP Cole Johnson – New Britain Bees
– After advancing to Triple A in 2015 in the Minnesota Twins organization, Johnson has been solid at the independent level with the Bees, posting a 5-5 record and 2.19 ERA in 11 starts and 69.2 innings of work … he has tossed one complete game and struck out 38 batters.
RHP Brian Dupra – New Britain Bees
– Dupra has also reached Triple A with the Washington Nationals (2014) and boasts a 4-0 record with a 3.35 ERA in 10 appearances (9 starts) and 56.1 innings of work … he has 39 strikeouts.
For more information on the Notre Dame baseball team, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDBaseball), Twitter (@NDBaseball) and Instagram (notredamebaseball).
Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history before earning his master’s degree in sports communications from Georgia State University in 2011.