2019 Stats: 78 PA .211/.269/.521 = 790 OPS +0.1 bWAR
2019 Salary: League minimum
2020 Status: Pre arbitration, currently on the 40 man roster.
Kevin Cron, an alumni of Mountain Pointe H.S. in Phoenix, AZ, played catcher during his high school years in Ahwatukee. Prior to the 2014 amateur draft during which Kevin Cron was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 14th round, Kevin had declined to sign with the Seattle Mariners in the 11th round of the 2011 amateur draft. From 2014 until 2018 Cron moved-up and through the Diamondbacks farm system showcasing his massive physique and ability to launch massive home runs. It was after the 2018 season that Cron was added to the 40 man roster along with Taylor Clarke and Emilio Vargas (and 2 others) - however the former 3 were named as “notable” prospects in this milb.com article.
Kevin Cron was assigned to Reno and started the 2019 season in the minors. While playing in the PCL Cron’s bat dominated, knocking out 38 home runs, with 105 RBIs and commanding a 1.223 OPS. Cron was named to the 2019 PCL All Star Team, was selected to participate in the home run derby, and also won the MILB JOE BAUMAN HOME RUN AWARD TRIPLE A. Aside from a rehab stint in the AZL for 2 games in July, Cron floated back and forth from Reno to Phoenix from May through September.
The Diamondbacks recalled Cron on May 24th and he joined the team in San Francisco. Playing second to Christian Walker at 1st base, Cron only started 7 games in that position, and 4 total starts as a DH in inter-league play. His 1st big league homer was launched on June 7th in Toronto, a 3 run bomb that just got out at 363 ft. See video below.
For someone so massive you may think Cron is heavy on his feet at 1st base. You may be right just by looking at him, but in 2019 Cron committed just 1 error in 64.1 total defensive innings with a fielding % of .983. Not bad for big-man. Now let’s take a quick look at his offensive numbers. Hitting massive dongs and touting abundant slugging in the PCL did not really translate into the same look in the Majors for Kevin. In 78 plate appearances Kevin produced just 15 hits, a BA of .211, and a quiet OPS of .780 - really nothing to write home about. However, each time he came to the plate or even stepped on the field, his presence alone was enough to draw excitement from myself and my fellow Brutes.
Behold, another massive home run to showcase Kevin Cron’s thicc swing.
To summarize 2019: Cron provided rest for Christian Walker on occasion or was used off the bench as a pinch hitter, and also he was handy during inter league play as a DH. During his time in the Majors he was able to show off some of that power that he is best known for, but the amount of consistent at-bats were likely not enough to take a true sample of what Kevin Cron’s bat could be capable of with more playing time.
On October 31st it was ‘blurbed’ that Cron had knee surgery to repair a Partial Medial Meniscectomy in his right knee on October 15 in Scottsdale (performed by Dr. Waslewski), and that Cron would be ready for Spring Training.
Looking at 2020
Pending any surprise move at 1b by the Diamondbacks, it is likely that Kevin Cron will start the season in Reno and be called upon to rest Walker or for inter league play. Cron is under team control until 2025 and could potentially be looked at as a trade chip for Hazen this off season or at the trade deadline, since Christian Walker seems to own 1b at the time of this write-up, and with Seth Beer waiting/developing in the lower minors.
Baseball Reference lists 239 projected plate appearances for Kevin Cron in 2020, tripling his 2019 PA’s. Baring injury to Walker, I am unsure exactly how Cron gets that many PA’s next season.