Former Diamondbacks prospect/first baseman Kevin Cron spent the 2021 season in Japan. Now, the former PCL MVP is headed to South Korea to continue his overseas career. While the big slugging first baseman certainly has a ton of power, 151 homers over his MILB career, he swings and misses a lot. That issue followed him to Japan where he struggled mightily. Cron is the second Dbacks former top prospect to sign elsewhere.
Over 95 games for the Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, he batted .239, .296, .433, .729 with 15 HRs, 34 RBIs, 11 doubles, and 69 hits. Unfortunately, while he walked 21 times in 314 plate appearances, he struck out an obscenely high 102 times. That’s more than a 34% rate in which he struck out. Ouch.
As such, his shot of coming back to the MLB will be put off for another year as he signed a 1-year deal with the SSG Landers of the Korea Baseball Organization. The contract is worth $750K guaranteed with an additional $250K in possible incentives. The KBO is known as a hitter-haven that allows many players to have career years.
His only MLB action came with the Diamondbacks in 2019-20 where he had 98 players appearances over the two seasons. He hit 6 HRs in that same time showing the Diamondbacks his huge power. On the contrary, he struck out 35 times, which is why the Diamondbacks ended up releasing him. The 28-year old will seek to rediscover his batting stroke and have a monster season in hopes of getting an MLB contract next off-season.
Fun fact, Kevin Cron is the son of Chris Cron, former MLB player, and Reno Aces Manager. Now, Chris is the field coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Furthermore, his brother is CJ Cron, the Colorado Rockies’ first baseman. Also, Kevin grew up in Phoenix, attending Moutain Pointe High School. Good luck in Korea Kevin! We hope you succeed there!