C.J. Cron
C.J. Cron
28-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Minnesota Twins
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Even in the current power-laden landscape, it’s rare for a 30-homer hitter to be designated for assignment, but that's exactly what happened to Cron. His lack of defensive prowess hurt his real-world value, and the Rays decided he wasn't worth close to $5 million through arbitration. The good news for Cron is that the Twins decided he was worth that price tag; Minnesota traded for Cron and will likely afford him near-everyday time between first base and DH. Cron’s plate skills and batted-ball profile were nearly identical with and without the platoon edge, the main difference being a .392 BABIP vs. LHP and a .252 BABIP vs. RHP. In short, his splits aren’t as exaggerated as they seem. There's still a risk he falls into a platoon role if the results aren't there on the field, but even so, Cron makes for a nice late pick at a position that fell off as a whole in 2018. He has shown he can produce, especially in the power department. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a one-year, $4.8 million contract with the Twins in November of 2018, avoiding arbitration.
Avoids arbitration with Twins
1BMinnesota Twins
November 30, 2018
Cron agreed to a one-year, $4.8 million contract with Minnesota on Friday, avoiding arbitration.
ANALYSIS
Cron was scooped up off waivers by the Twins after being designated for assignment by the Rays. He should add much-needed power to Minnesota's lineup in 2019 after launching 30 homers a year ago.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+6%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+21%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+9%
OPS vs LHP
2016
 
 
+23%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .822 364 43 16 51 1 .267 .330 .492
Since 2016vs Right .776 1010 115 46 148 5 .257 .315 .461
2018vs Left .930 170 24 8 21 0 .307 .376 .553
2018vs Right .767 390 44 22 53 1 .231 .300 .467
2017vs Left .790 93 10 6 17 1 .233 .290 .500
2017vs Right .724 278 29 10 39 2 .253 .309 .415
2016vs Left .674 101 9 2 13 0 .237 .287 .387
2016vs Right .827 342 42 14 56 2 .290 .336 .490
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+3%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+15%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+26%
OPS at Home
2016
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .775 674 75 26 90 4 .258 .332 .443
Since 2016Away .799 700 83 36 109 2 .262 .306 .493
2018Home .753 269 31 11 34 0 .235 .327 .426
2018Away .869 291 37 19 40 1 .269 .320 .550
2017Home .825 190 20 8 28 3 .275 .358 .467
2017Away .656 181 19 8 28 0 .221 .249 .407
2016Home .758 215 24 7 28 1 .269 .316 .442
2016Away .824 228 27 9 41 1 .286 .333 .490
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Stat Review
How does C.J. Cron compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.26
 
BB Rate
6.6%
 
K Rate
25.9%
 
BABIP
.293
 
ISO
.240
 
AVG
.253
 
OBP
.323
 
SLG
.493
 
OPS
.816
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring C.J. Cron
The Z Files: Historical Top 200
November 10th
Todd Zola takes a look at the end-of-season top-200 performers over the last five years and thinks Charlie Blackmon's being discounted too heavily in early drafts given his track record.
Collette Calls: Breaking Down Joey Votto
October 11th
Jason Collette investigates Joey Votto, who had more than 600 plate appearances but hit a career-low 12 home runs. What's up with Votto?
DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks
September 28th
Chris Morgan turns his Friday DraftKings recommendations toward D-Backs pitcher Patrick Corbin on the road down in San Diego.
DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks
September 21st
Chris Morgan looks at Friday's DraftKings slate, rolling with Astros catcher Evan Gattis at home against the Angels.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Friday Picks
September 7th
Chris Morgan recommends looking at Yankees righty Masahiro Tanaka in the series opener with struggling Seattle.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Cron has seemingly hit a wall in the major leagues and there's not much to suggest he's going to take his game to another level in his age-28 season. The quality of his contact improved in 2017 (35.8 percent hard-hit rate, 6.7 Brls/PA), but he put bat to ball with far less consistency, with his strikeout rate leaping from 16.9 percent to 25.7 percent. His OBP against right-handed pitching fell nearly 30 points to .309 as he walked just 5.9 percent of the time for the season, and he didn't show any real growth against lefties (.233 average, .290 OBP). Cron missed some time with a foot injury, was demoted several times throughout the campaign and fizzled late while serving in an everyday role. He was also a negative in the field, grading out just barely above replacement level overall. While he figures to get another chance to play regularly to begin 2018, Cron could be relegated to part-time duty with a slow start.
Cron took over as the Halos' primary first baseman but was sidelined about six weeks after breaking his hand in early July. His skills continued to trend in the right direction, as he whiffed less and walked more for the second straight season. However, his 5.4 percent walk rate is still far too low, especially if Cron wants to hit in the meat of the order. Cron's power ticked up, but it was mostly an increase in doubles as he matched 2015's home run output in 40 more plate appearances. Cron has actually had more success against right-handed pitching in his career (.789 OPS) than lefties (.694 OPS) . As such, there's room for growth if his numbers improve versus southpaws. For those who miss out on a stud first baseman early, Cron makes for a perfect fallback option with a solid floor and intriguing power upside.
Cron began the season as the team's everyday DH after undergoing wrist surgery in the offseason, but was sent back to Triple-A Salt Lake after hitting just .143 in May. The former first-round pick made another stop in the minors after struggling upon his return, but was able to rebound, finishing the season with 16 homers and a .739 OPS in 378 at-bats. Cron is still a work in progress, as his walk rate remained disappointing (4.2%) and his ISO dropped nearly 20 points (from .194 to .177) but his 20 percent strikeout rate represents nearly a four percent decrease from his first year, while his 80.3% contact rate is up from the 77.3% he tallied in 2014. Cron may not have done enough to label his season a full-fledged breakout, but he will almost certainly be back with the Angels to begin 2016, and could fill in at first base if Albert Pujols isn't ready to begin the season after undergoing foot surgery this winter.
Considered by some to be the top hitting prospect in the Angels' system entering 2014, Cron hit the ground running after making his major league debut in May, tallying slugging percentages of .548 and .552 in May and June, respectively. As quickly as it started, however, Cron's run of success seemed to end, as he did not post an OPS higher than .656 in the final three months of the season, resulting in a temporary demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake in August. He was recalled when rosters expanded in September, but was a part-time player down the stretch. Cron played to his minor league numbers in his first go around in the major leagues, providing big power (.194 ISO), but combining it with a suspect walk rate (4.0%). He also struck out far too often, whiffing 61 times in 79 games. Cron could wind up on the small side of a platoon with the left-handed hitting Matt Joyce as a DH tandem in 2015, and the 25-year-old should spell Albert Pujols at first base when Pujols needs a day without defensive responsibilities, but it remains to be seen if he will be given enough playing time to prove that he was worthy of his prospect status.
Cron saw his power numbers dip sharply after being promoted to Double-A Arkansas at the beginning of the 2013 season, as he slugged just .428 after slugging .516 with High-A Inland Empire in 2012. This, coupled with a remarkably low walk rate (4.1%), led to a pedestrian .746 OPS for the season. Cron makes enough contact (14.7% strikeout rate in 2013) that he may be able to offset his lack of plate discipline, but if he can't get his power numbers back to 2012 levels, he may struggle going forward. It should be noted, however, that the park effects at Arkansas suppress offense, specifically power. Cron hit well during his time in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .413 with five homers in 80 at-bats, and remains one of the best prospects in the Angels' system. He is expected to begin his 2014 season back in Arkansas, but he may quickly move to Triple-A Salt Lake and try to force his way into the picture in Anaheim with the departure of Mark Trumbo.
Cron was the 17th overall pick in the 2011 draft and had an impressive showing at High-A Inland Empire last season after tearing up the rookie league the year before. He hit 27 homers and only struck out 72 times in 557 plate appearances for Inland Empire, but the Angels have to be concerned that he only managed to draw 17 walks all year. As promising of a talent as Cron is, he may stall out if he doesn't improve his plate discipline in the coming years. If he's able to do that, the sky is the limit for the 6-foot-4, 225-pound, 23-year-old slugger.
The Angels selected Cron with the 17th pick in the 2011 draft. Though he didn’t finish 2011 due to a knee injury, he posted a 1.000 OPS in 159 plate appearances in the rookie league. Cron should recover from his injury by the start of the season and open the season at Low-A Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League. While he is one of the Angels’ better prospects, the offseason signing of Albert Pujols blocks his long-term path. As a result, he could be most valuable to the team as a trade chip if his development takes place as expected.
More Fantasy News
Claimed by Twins
1BMinnesota Twins
November 26, 2018
Cron was claimed off waivers by the Twins on Monday.
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Designated for assignment
1BTampa Bay Rays
November 20, 2018
Cron was removed from the Rays' 40-man roster Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Slugs 30th homer
1BTampa Bay Rays
September 29, 2018
Cron went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk in Saturday's win over the Blue Jays.
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Homers in loss
1BTampa Bay Rays
September 27, 2018
Cron went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Thursday's loss to the Yankees.
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Slams 28th homer
1BTampa Bay Rays
September 23, 2018
Cron went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a solo homer in Tampa Bay's 5-2 win Sunday against the Blue Jays.
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