After a scorching month at the plate, Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron earned National Player of the Month honors in August. It was an honor that was well deserved and another step toward what should be a sizable offseason contract.
Whether that contract will come from the Rockies or another Major League team, there is no question that the $1 million bet Cron placed on himself and his health by signing for that price and one year with Colorado before the season has paid off in a big way.
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Cron became the 11th Rockies player in franchise history to earn Player of the Month honors (and the first since Charlie Blackmon in June of 2019) after slashing .387/.463/.828 with eight doubles, 11 homers, and 34 RBI in 26 August games. During that span, Cron led the NL in homers, RBI, batting average, and slugging percentage. He was also tied for second in hits with 36 and came in third in on-base percentage.
His 34 RBI in August were the most by any player in any month in MLB this season, and the most by a Rockies player since Nolan Arenado logged 36 in August of 2016.
It’s been part of a renaissance season for the 31-year-old Cron, who had his 2020 season cut short by a knee injury that required surgery. That injury led to Cron signing a minor league deal for $1 million with the Rockies that included an invitation to spring training.
What C.J. Cron’s 2021 season could mean for his future with the Colorado Rockies
With the final full month of the 2021 campaign now underway, thoughts are already turning to 2022 and whether Cron will once again be in a Rockies uniform.
If Cron comes back, the Rockies certainly won’t get him at the price they did for the 2021 season. However, while the price may go up, it certainly doesn’t mean that it will be out of Colorado’s range. As Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post discusses in this article, Colorado likely has about $80 million committed for next season, which would give them financial room to sign Cron to a multi-year deal in the range he’ll likely be seeking.
And there’s more to Cron than just what he has done at the plate this season. He’s also steadily improved his defense as the season has gone along, adding to his value and keeping him in the game in the late innings.
With the version of Cron the Rockies have gotten as the year has progressed, he can provide the perfect bridge for the franchise until prospects Michael Toglia or Colton Welker can make it to Denver from the minors.
What Cron put together in August showed the force he can be within the Colorado lineup. Now the Rockies and Cron will need to decide if they’re a good fit for each other in 2022 and possibly beyond.