On the heels of a standout 2021 season that saw C.J. Cron set personal career highs in nearly every offensive statistical category, what does the Colorado Rockies first baseman do for an encore in 2022?
Well, according to ZIPS projections for Cron for the coming season (whenever it may start), the nine-year veteran is expected to see a decrease in those lofty numbers that he established a year ago.
ZIPS has Cron playing 128 games in 2022 with 443 at bats (503 plate appearances) with 118 hits, 61 runs scored, 26 home runs, and 112 runs batted in. His slash line is listed as .266/.348/.508.
All those projected numbers for Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron are down from the 2021 campaign.
A year ago, Cron’s slash line was .281/.375/.530 with an OPS of .905 in 142 games. The Fullerton, Calif., native, ranked ninth in the National League and topped Colorado in slugging percentage and OPS.
Cron also paced the Colorado Rockies in homers (28), RBI (92), and walks (60) while establishing a franchise record with three grand slams. His 28 home runs were just two shy of his career high of 30 set in 2018 when he was with Tampa Bay and his 117 strikeouts last year were well below his career high of 145 with the Rays (he had 13 more plate appearances in 2018 than a year ago).
A free agent last season who won a 2021 spring training battle with Greg Bird to start at first base, Cron went 132-for-470 at the plate with 31 doubles.
He was recognized as the National League Player of the Month of August after a torrid month at the plate in which he led the league in hitting, home runs, and RBI.
For his stellar play in 2021, the Rockies inked Cron in October to a two-year contract for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Despite his success at the plate a year ago, ZIPS forecasts Cron’s numbers to dwindle in 2022 even though he begins his second full season with Colorado in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
While ZIPS expects Cron’s offensive output to dip for the coming season, its projected slash line of .266/.348/.508 is still better than his career slash line of .261/.323/.475.
During his eight Major League seasons, Cron has amassed 146 homers, 465 RBI in 828 contests.