There might not be a player in baseball more deserving of a call up than Kevin Cron, who has absolutely crushed the ball at AAA Reno this season. The younger brother of Minnesota Twins first baseman/designated hitter C.J. Cron, Kevin will make his big league debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.
The younger Cron was drafted in the third round in 2011 by the Seattle Mariners but opted to attend TCU instead where he did not perform as well as expected and slipped to the 14th round in 2014, when he signed with the D-Backs. He has played 72 games at third base in his career where he is serviceable, but his natural position is at first base where he is a solid defender.
The real strength in Cron’s game is, well, his strength. He hit 12 home runs in just 64 games to start his pro career, then following it up with 27, 26, 25, and 22 home runs in full season ball before hitting 21 home runs in 199 trips to the plate this season. He had climbed into quality prospect status after his first two pro seasons, but a rough 2016 that saw him hit just .222 in his first taste of AA, then fairing even worse in the Arizona Fall League had Cron disappear from the prospect landscape. He bounced back the next season hitting .283, then .309 a season ago in the hitter friendly PCL and is hitting with a ridiculous slash line of .339/.437/.800 this year.
He is 26, making him old for a position prospect, but I fully expect him to be a quality bat in the middle of the D-Backs lineup moving forward. He it tall and has a bit of a leg kick in his swing that can cause him to be a little late at times, but he has really improved the timing between his front foot, hips, and hands allowing them all to move together, creating the plus power.
I don’t expect Cron to put up the crazy numbers he has been posting in Reno at the big league level, but he could easily hit .260 with 25 home runs with regularity, which is really impressive for a guy who has fallen off just about all prospect lists ahead of this season.