I loved watching Craig Biggio while growing up and sometimes wondered if his innate talent was always apparent. A 20-year veteran to the game, Biggio spent his entire career with the Astros, splitting his time at catcher, outfield and second base. The question is, before he was drafted in the first round of the 1987 MLB Draft, was Biggio expected to be the seven-time All-Star he became?
In short, the answer is yes and no. After examining his recently released scouting report one can see that they believed Biggio “might develop into a [major league] prospect.” While there was initial skepticism, scouts accurately predicted that his speed would be a factor, commenting that “he has excellent speed, especially for a catcher,” and ranking it with a 6-out-of-8 (above average). He would later steal 414 bases in his career and maintain a 70% stolen base success rate.
I found it interesting that they noted that his biggest weakness was that he “does not have a [major league] bat or power,” giving him only a 3-out-of-8 (well below average). Biggio had eight seasons of 20 or more home runs and held a very respectable .281 average over 2,850 games. In my opinion, that is certainly not well below average!
The one thing they nailed, however, was the acknowledgement that Biggio “shows a lot of desire.” He was a fan favorite for a reason. Biggio played with his heart on his sleeve and gave everything he had during his entire career. There is no doubt in my mind that while he may have only had two well ranked tools when he was evaluated in 1986, Biggio was able to become the outstanding player he became because of his determination and heart.