The Diamondbacks have released first baseman Kevin Cron, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. Cron’s rights have been sold to a team in Nippon Professional Baseball, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
Cron appeared in eight games with Arizona this season, recording only one walk and zero hits over 20 plate appearances. It was a disappointing output for a player who flashed some of his power potential over 78 PA in 2019, as Cron hit .211/.269/.521 with six homers in his rookie season. Since it became apparent that he wasn’t in the Diamondbacks’ long-term plans, Cron will now head to Japan for a new chapter in his career.
Originally a 14th-round pick for the D’Backs in the 2014 draft, Cron hit .280/.348/.529 with 151 home runs over 2765 PA in the minor leagues. Despite hitting at every level, Cron’s status as something of a traditional slugging, slow-footed first baseman (who was lacking in glovework) limited his prospect stock, not to mention the fact that Paul Goldschmidt was for years a big roadblock for any first base prospect in Arizona’s system. Cron didn’t crack the big leagues until his age-26 season, and while the NL’s adoption of the designated hitter led MLBTR’s Steve Adams to wonder if Cron could blossom in a DH role, Cron didn’t produce or even receive much of an opportunity in 2020.