It would be difficult for any player who has been an All Star for two of their first three years to be overlooked. That would also be the case when they finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. Add in solid defensive versatility and an above average bat, and that is the type of player any team would want. Such is the case with San Diego Padres infielder Jake Cronenworth.
The Padres clearly know that they have on their roster. They locked Cronenworth in with a seven year extension worth $80 million. And yet, Cronenworth is viewed as “average.”
Jake Cronenworth hidden star for San Diego Padres
It is easy to overlook Cronenworth. He is not going to stand out on a team filled with future Hall of Famers and superstars. He may not even be one of the first secondary players that comes to mind, especially with players such as former prospect Trent Grisham and Ha-seong Kim on the roster. But he does all the little things right, finding ways to help a team win that do not appear in the box score.
That does not mean he does nothing offensively. Cronenworth has put together a solid .255/.337/.429 batting line in his 1527 career plate appearances, hitting 42 homers and 78 doubles. He has 9.4% walk rate and a 16.6% strikeout rate, but marks better than league average. He is also capable of playing first, second, and short with solid defense at each spot.
The Padres are not just throwing money around because they have to. The days where they had to overpay Eric Hosmer are gone. San Diego is a destination team now, a place where players are going to look to win a title. They do not need to pay for average. And Cronenworth certainly is not an average player.
Jake Cronenworth is overshadowed by the stars on the San Diego Padres. However, he is well worth every cent of his extension.