Colorado Rockies 2022 player projections: C.J. Cron
We continue our look at projections for the Colorado Rockies in 2022 and today, we continue by looking at the projections for C.J. Cron.
C.J. Cron was a very pleasant surprise for the Colorado Rockies in 2021 and they need more of it in 2022.
The Colorado Rockies signed C.J. Cron to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training in 2021. If he made it to the majors, he would get a base salary of $1 million and up to $1.4 million in incentives based on games played and another $500,000 if he was traded. He wasn’t traded but he earned $1.1 million of the incentives since he played in 142 games.
By both rWAR and fWAR, Cron was their third-best position player behind Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon. Cron had 28 homers and 92 RBI (both of which were the highest on the team) with a slash line of .281/.375/.530, an OPS+ of 130, and a wRC+ of 127 in 142 games.
The OPS+/wRC+ numbers are both, by far, the best of anyone on the Rockies with more than 50 plate appearances. Total, he had an rWAR of 3.4 and an fWAR of 2.3.
For 2022, ZiPS projections on Cron are slightly less than his 2021 season.
- 26 homers, 82 RBI, .266/.348/.508, 113 OPS+, 1.7 fWAR
Why would the predictions be less for Cron?
First of all, Cron had a career year in 2021. The best season (outside of 13 games in 2020 before a knee injury) he ever had in his career was in 2018. Cron’s OPS+? 123. wRC+? 124. In 2019, his OPS+ was 104 and his wRC+ was 101 so the middle ground of those two is, essentially, what is being predicted.
The Rockies, to be a team that’s a playoff contender or even just a team that’s better than a 74-win team, need Cron to be, at least, the player he was in 2021.
He will be paid more than seven times his base salary from 2021 as he signed a two-year deal worth $14.5 million.
However, if Cron can keep his walk rate where it was in 2021, he will still be one of the best bats in the lineup for the Rockies, regardless of whether or not they get someone from outside of the organization to address their offensive woes.