Cronenworth has been traded from the Rays to the Padres along with Tommy Pham in exchange for Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards, Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports.
A two-way prospect who can work as a middle infielder or right-handed reliever, Cronenworth is close to big-league ready. In his age-25 season at Triple-A he logged a .334/.429/.520 slash line with 10 home runs, 12 steals, a 12.1 percent walk rate and 15.3 percent strikeout rate in 88 games. The Padres have a lot of middling options at second base, led by Jurickson Profar, and Cronenworth could realistically emerge as the best option at the keystone at some point in 2020. His two-way versatility could work as a tie breaker for holding a spot on the 26-man roster.
Cronenworth was added to the Rays' 40-man roster Wednesday.
This protects him from the Rule 5 draft. A legitimate two-way player, Cronenworth may function as an infielder and relief pitcher for the Rays. He can play all over the infield but is a shortstop by trade. On the mound he throws right-handed. Cronenworth hit .334/.429/.520 with 10 home runs and 12 steals in 88 games at Triple-A and should compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Cronenworth is 2-for-12 with a double, a walk and two runs in the three games he's played for Triple-A Durham since returning from a stay on the 7-day injured list due to a hamstring strain.
The 25-year-old shortstop hasn't quite been able to regain the elite form he's been flashing for most of the season in his first three games since returning, but his timing is expected to be a bit off after spending just over a month on the shelf. Cronenworth still boasts a stellar .342/.432/.540 line across 366 plate appearances with the Bulls this season and could get his first taste of the big leagues when rosters expand in September.
Cronenworth (hamstring) is close to rejoining Triple-A Durham, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports.
Cronenworth hasn't played since July 16 due to a hamstring injury, but he's on the cusp of rejoining the Bulls after starting up a rehab assignment with Tampa Bay's Gulf Coast League affiliate Monday. Prior to getting hurt, the 25-year-old was slashing .342/.432/.540 with 10 home runs and 11 steals in 86 games for Durham.
Cronenworth, who's slashing .367/.460/.511 at Triple-A Durham, is being converted to a two-way player and fired a scoreless first inning as the opener for the Bulls on Saturday, Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports.
If there's anything the premium prospect is incapable of accomplishing on a baseball field, it apparently remains a mystery. With Cronenworth already knocking the cover off the ball at the level closest to the majors, the Rays want to see if the 2015 seventh-round pick's vast physical skills and college pitching experience help him turn into a viable component of their organizational pitching arsenal. Manager Kevin Cash stated Sunday that the 25-year-old has been prepping for his new endeavor by throwing live batting practices and bullpen sessions the past several weeks. Cash added that Cronenworth's fastball consistently registered in the mid-90s mph on the radar gun during his one frame Saturday, lending some credence to the notion he could contribute as a legitimate two-way threat moving forward.
Cronenworth is hitting .467 with four strikeouts, two walks and five steals through 45 at-bats with Triple-A Durham.
The 25-year-old infielder has primarily played shortstop, but has also seen time at third base and second base in the early going. The Rays have so many young, talented infielders that it will be tricky for any prospect to break into the mix without a slew of injuries, but Cronenworth, a seventh-round pick in 2015, is doing his best to force the issue.
Cronenworth went 2-for-2 with a triple, a solo home run and two runs overall in a 17-15 Grapefruit League loss to the Orioles on Saturday.
The 25-year-old shortstop entered the game for Daniel Robertson in the top of the sixth, ripping his run-scoring three-bagger in his first at-bat before bringing the Rays to within one with his eighth-inning solo blast. Cronenworth is now hitting .357 overall across 14 spring at-bats, and he's likely headed to Triple-A Durham to open the season. Cronenworth got his first taste of game action at that level late last season, slashing .240/.269/.360 across a modest sample of 26 plate appearances. The shortstop position at the big-league level is in the capable hands of Willy Adames, so Cronenworth doesn't presently have a clear path to the majors.
Cronenworth was reassigned to minor-league camp Saturday, J. Scott Butherus of MLB.com reports.
The 24-year-old shortstop was hitless in 11 spring at-bats, although he did score twice. Cronenworth slashed a solid .285/.363/.342 across 179 plate appearances at Double-A Montgomery in 2017, and he should be back there to begin 2018. He has flashed next to no power in his pro career thus far, but he's hit between .268 and .322 in four of five stops and generated a career-best 10.6 percent strikeout rate with the Biscuits last season.
Cronenworth's hitting streak for High-A Charlotte, which dates back to the tail end of last season, is now at 20 games, making him the 11th player in Rays organization history to reach that mark, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Cronenworth has now matched Rays stalwart Carl Crawford's best hitting streak and is eight games behind Aubrey Huff's franchise-record 28-game tear. The 23-year-old shortstop is slashing .397/.506/.521 over 87 plate appearances with three doubles, three triples, 14 walks, four stolen bases and 19 runs. The 2015 seventh-round pick entered the season with a .285 average over his first two minor-league campaigns, including a .322 mark in 81 games at Low-A Bowling Green last season.
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2015||ASX-Hudson Valley Renega||51||196||31||57||12||3||1||16||31||59||12||7||.399||.398||.291|
|2017||AFA-Charlotte Stone Crab||87||328||58||88||16||5||2||29||47||69||12||5||.363||.366||.268|