It took until 2018 for C.J. Cron to get a regular workload after being stuck behind Albert Pujols on the west coast. In his first season with the Rays, he hit 30 home runs, drove in 74 runs and hit .253 across 140 games. In his career year, he posted a 2.1 WAR, which was higher than his combined WAR over the prior four seasons (2.0) in Los Angeles. Cron will now be the primary first baseman up in Minnesota, with plenty of pop around him in the lineup as well. His average draft position (ADP) is pretty fair for a guy coming off a 30 home run season, but there could be some fool’s gold here with the 29-year-old first baseman.

Compared to prior seasons, there wasn’t any noticeable particular jump that could explain the increased home run production. Well, there is one, and it isn’t his hard contact rate. See for yourself below:


Yes, the yearly increased in his hard contact is encouraging, but in the past, even that wasn’t leading to increased home run production. A four...