Cron, who went 1-for-3 in Thursday's 5-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Orioles, is hitting .333 (4-for-12) with a double, a home run, two RBI and two runs over his first four spring training games.
The offseason acquisition has gotten plenty of reps to open the exhibition slate, logging a trio of plate appearances in each contest while Brad Miller (toe) remains sidelined. Cron is reportedly set for a full-time role in the coming season, which would afford him ample opportunity to bounce back from a career-low .248 average and .437 slugging percentage in 2017. Despite the downturn in those numbers, Cron clawed his way to 16 homers for the third straight campaign, and putting a significant dent in his career-high 25.9 percent strikeout rate from last season would go a long way to propping his metrics back up.
After being acquired by Tampa Bay, it was thought that Cron might be set for a role as the short side of a platoon with the left-handed Brad Miller, but manager Kevin Cash says he wants to give Cron a full-time role. Even with full-time at-bats, it's fair to wonder what his ceiling looks like, as he owns a career .262/.307/.449 slash line and has hit just 24 home runs per 600 plate appearances, a very modest home-run rate for a first baseman at the present time. At the very least, however, the appeal in targeting him deeper formats has increased with the prospect of better counting stats, and the Rays' lack of middle-of-the-order pop potentially leaving him in the heart of the lineup on a regular basis.
Cron wasn't expected to see much playing time behind Albert Pujols and Luis Valbuena, so the Angels decided to ship him off to Tampa Bay, where he'll enter camp with a chance to emerge as the team's starting first baseman. The 28-year-old, who hit .248/.305/.437 with 16 homers in 100 games last season, will compete with Brad Miller for the starting gig in spring, though it's also possible the two settle into a platoon together. In a surprising corresponding move, Corey Dickerson was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Cron.
This was his first of three offseasons as an arbitration-eligible player. Cron may struggle to see enough at-bats to be useful in most mixed leagues this season, as Luis Valbuena figures to start at first base against most righties, and Albert Pujols will also start at first when Shohei Ohtani gets starts at DH. Cron hit .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs in 373 plate appearances last season.
Cron went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in Friday's 7-6 victory over the Rangers.
Cron took Ricky Rodriguez deep in the bottom of the sixth inning, which proved to be the deciding runs in a narrow victory. The 27-year-old isn't hitting for as much of an average (.255) in September as he was during his torrid month of August (.308), but the slugger has continued to produce with three homers and 13 RBI through 13 September starts. Cron is just one home run off his career-high mark of 16 that he set both in 2015 and 2016 despite playing in just 85 games this year, leaving fantasy owners to wonder "what if" had manager Mike Scioscia not toyed around with his playing time in the first half of the season.
|10/1/2017 vs Seattle|
|vs Rodgers (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2012||AFA-Inland Empire 66ers||129||525||73||154||32||2||27||123||17||72||3||4||.327||.516||.293|
|2014||AAA-Salt Lake Bees||49||190||30||60||14||1||7||33||18||40||2||1||.385||.511||.316|
|2015||AAA-Salt Lake Bees||23||93||15||30||10||2||6||23||4||14||0||0||.347||.667||.323|
|2017||AAA-Salt Lake Bees||22||82||11||22||6||0||4||23||7||15||1||0||.344||.488||.268|