Colorado Rockies News: CronSaw is ready
Since 2021, CJ Cron has quickly become one of my favorite Colorado Rockies. It’s not necessarily that he’s doing anything out of the ordinary, but it’s the fact that he’s just a fun player to watch and has been an under-the-radar type of player his entire life. career. Last season was a great rebound from a knee injury that robbed him of a full 2020 season, and when the Rockies signed him to a two-year extension at the end of 2021, I was thrilled to the prospect of Cron’s bat in the lineup.
This season, we’ve seen Cron continue to provide solid production on the board, becoming the first National League player this season to hit double-digit home runs, while also leading the league in multi-hit games with 17. His offensive prowess inspired my own nickname I gave him, in reference to Macho Man character Randy Savage in Spider-Man, and a poorly edited photoshop meme I tweet whenever he hits a home run this season. So what makes Cron so effective this year?
At 32, Cron has what could be another career year with Colorado. Going into Saturday’s double header, he’s batting .331/.378/.629 with 11 home runs, 10 doubles, one triple and 32 RBI in 39 games. He also has a wRC+167 and a wOBA of .431, both of which are career highs for the slugger. His consistency out of the cleanup slot in the lineup has provided the Rockies with much-needed offensive stability they’ve been missing in recent years.
In 2021, Cron posted an 11% walk rate, the highest for a full season of his career. There’s been a dramatic drop this season to 6.1%, but that’s more in line with his career average. Strikeouts hit 24.8%, the highest for a full regular season since 2018, but Cron still delivers plenty of consistency.
The fact that there was more protection in Cron’s composition, at least in theory, forced casters to come straight at him. His propensity for swinging strikes has decreased this season to 10.4%, while called strikes have increased slightly to 16%. Cron is more selective at home plate, focusing more on contact and driving the ball than just walking.
Strikeouts are a little more acceptable for a player of Cron’s roster because you want him to put the ball in play more often than not hoping he drives in runs. Cron puts the ball in play with authority. He’s hitting a lot more lines this season but hitting fewer fly balls, but either way he has a 42% hard hit rate and a .390 BABIP. At this point, Cron is better off making contact than working at bat for a walk, as it’s tied to more hits and the possibility of an extra hit.
Cron far from home
However, we have to address the elephant in the room, his house/road splits. It’s no mystery that CJ Cron has benefited greatly from Coors Field. In fact, he has become one of the best hitters in the game when playing at home. At home, Cron cuts .407/.450/.747 with 38 hits, including seven doubles, nine homers, 26 RBIs and scored 24 runs. On the road, he’s hitting .211/.250/.404 with three doubles, a triple, two homers, six RBIs and has scored just two runs.
Cron’s struggles on the road stem from his inability to put the ball in play and make quality contact. He hits a ground ball 50% of the time on the road and hits 31.7% of the time for a walk rate of just 1.7%. The Coors effect and pitch recognition issues caused Cron to brawl on the road. This fight leads to meltdowns that delay his ability to add production to the plate.
CronSaw is ready
Overall, despite struggling at times, Cron still provides batting quality in formation. Entering Sunday, he has an added win probability of 1.99, another career high. His consistency is a valuable trait the Rockies need, especially this season. However, like most of the Rockies, he needs to figure out how to even things out on the road and aim for a league-average level of production. Only once he can fix this problem will CronSaw be truly ready. Until then, we’ll continue to enjoy his dominance at Coors Field and the ingredients for a great season.
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Rockies’ Kris Bryant skeptical of pitch clock in majors | Denver Post ($)
The tall clock finally made its way to the Pacific Coast League recently, and Kris Bryant had the chance to experience it while in rehab with isotopes in Albuquerque. He mentioned how it speeds up the game, but it can interrupt batters’ rhythm and planning to come up with a mental plan for their bats. The article goes deeper into the data on the impact of the pitch clock on minor league games.
A disappointing throw from the Colorado Rockies could spell the end | Mile High Sports
Since 2017, the Rockies’ best throw has been their throw, however, in 2022 things have been tough on the hill. Drew Creasman breaks down the pitching staff, their woes and what needs to happen for this team to improve and still hope to sniff out the playoffs.
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At the farm
Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 5, Salt Lake Bees 4
The Isotopes managed to resist the sting of an eighth-inning four-run bottom by the Bees to hold on to a 5-4 victory. Ryan Feltner started on the mound after being scratched from his start Friday, and pitched just three innings but struck out seven and allowed two hits. Zach Neal took the rest of the charge, going 4 1⁄3 mostly scoreless baseball. He shut down Salt Lake until he gave up all three runs late in the eighth. Nate Griep gave up one more race before finally stopping things. Chad Smith made his eighth save of the season. Wynton Bernard continued a hot season with a three-hit night, and the Isotopes had 10 hits as a team.
Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 4, Bowie Baysox 3
Hartford also won a nail, but in a less stressful way, thanks to a good pitch and a clutch run in the top of the eighth. Nick Bush started on the hill, allowing three runs on five hits, including two home runs while striking out five in six innings of work. The bullpen then pitched three scoreless innings, capped by Gavin Hollowell’s fourth save of the season. The big story of the night, however, was Ezequiel Tovar as he continues to be a man on a mission, clubbing two home runs on the night, one in the third and one in the sixth, to give him eight on the season.
High-A: Spokane Indians 9, Eugene Emeralds 4
Joe Rock had a strong season and, in addition to allowing four runs in the second inning, he had five hits, allowing six hits. He struggled with his command, walking three, but still had a quality outing for the team. Spokane’s bullpen managed to close the door the rest of the way to win the game. The team scored nine runs on 13 hits, thanks to multi-hit nights from Zach Veen, Drew Romo, Benjamin Sims, Daniel Montano and Julio Carreras.
Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies 9, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 0
Fresno dominated every aspect of this game, allowing Rancho Cucamonga just two hits as they scored nine runs on eight hits in the shutout victory. Victor Juarez lowered his ERA to 2.80 after allowing just one hit in six innings while striking out seven batters. Trevor Boone helped lead the charge offensively, tallying two hits and driving four, including a three-run shot for his second homer of the season.
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