Although C.J. Cron is not sure what his future might hold beyond this season, the veteran first baseman feels right at home as a first-year member of the Colorado Rockies.
“It’s been great. They have welcomed me with open arms,” Cron told Rox Pile in an exclusive interview prior to the Rockies’ home game with St. Louis on Saturday night. “It’s a great group of guys in the locker room and a great coaching staff. I feel super comfortable and I am super glad to be here.”
The right-handed swinging Cron signed a one-year, $1 million free agent deal with Colorado in February for the 2021 campaign. Whether or not he will remain with the Rockies for another season is yet to be determined. His name is being mentioned often in trade rumors as a potential acquisition for a team fighting for the postseason.
So will C.J. Cron stay with the Colorado Rockies or be traded?
“I try not to think too far ahead,” he said. “Obviously, I love it here. I love my teammates, coaching staff, everything. But there is so much stuff out of your control that all you can do is focus at hand. That stuff usually tends to work itself out. I love it here. They (the Rockies) have been great to me so far.”
Cron has certainly made a strong case for staying with the Rox, based on his performance on the field.
In 68 games, heading into Sunday, he is batting .252 with 54 hits in 214 at bats. He has blasted 11 home runs while driving in 32 runs to rank third on the team in both categories. When coupling his 11 homers with 10 doubles, he joins teammate Ryan McMahon as the only Rockies with double digits in both categories.
Meanwhile, his .356 on base percentage and .819 OPS are tops among Rockies regulars. He is second on the team in walks drawn (20) and being hit by a pitch (5).
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“There is obviously room for improvement,” Cron said. “I think I have shown flashes of what I can do, but I don’t think I have been quite consistent enough to my liking. Hopefully, I can get something started here and get rolling.”
Cron’s value to the Rockies offense is evident with his versatility in finding ways to reach base.
In Colorado’s 9-3 extra-inning loss to St. Louis on Friday, he had two hits including a run-scoring double that gave the Rox a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning before a late-inning bullpen collapse. Then, on Saturday, he drew two walks in three plate appearances as the Rockies held on to defeat the Cardinals 3-2.
Besides his contributions to the offense, the native of Fullerton, Calif., thinks his play in the Rockies infield has improved since early in the year.
“I think the first month of the year was the worst I have ever played on defense,” said Cron, who has six errors in the field in 2021. “I don’t know what was going on. I think over the past couple of months, I have settled in a little bit and played a lot better. Kind of a more complete game, which is nice, and hopefully just keep getting better.”
Cron, now in his eighth Major League season, spent time with the Los Angeles Angels, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Detroit before coming to Colorado, giving him a variety of experiences from which to draw.
“I think every team has its own things it likes to do,” he said “So every team is going to be different. Playing for Bud Black has been awesome. He is a great manager. He has made me feel super comfortable. It’s just a good group. I am glad to be here.”