Not a sleeper post I planned on writing. Jake Cronenworth already broke out, didn’t he? Why is it that some guys break out and are ignored the following season, then you have other guys who break out and are overrated? This fascinates me. Something psychological about it, and I can’t put my finger on it. Let me grab another guy who seemingly broke out and Jake Cronenworth, but leave you in the dark about the other guy for now, and Stamford-up a little experiment on your mind. I call this very scientific experiment:  Player A vs. Jake CronenworthJake Cronenworth’s Hit Tool is 60 grade, Player A is 40. Jake Cronenworth’s speed grade is 50, Player A is 50. Jake Cronenworth’s raw power grade is 45, Player A is 50. Jake Cronenworth had a .324 xBA last year which was in the top 2% of the league, Player A had a .263 xBA. Jake Cronenworth’s xSLG was .541 and top 10% of the league, Player A had a .481 and about same as Colin Moran. At worst, you’d say Jake Cronenworth and Player A were a push. At best, you’d want Jake Cronenworth. Here’s the point in our program where I shock you with who Player A is. Any guesses? Want me to just tell you? You’re no fun. It’s Trent Grisham. Same team, not same vibes at all, apparently. Trent Grisham is going about 100 spots sooner than Jake Cronenworth in some drafts. In fact (Grey’s got more!), I like Trent Grisham more than Jake Cronenworth, but should I? So, what can we expect from Jake Cronenworth for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

What really sticks out with Jake Cronenworth is the Hit Tool. His 25.2% line drive rate coupled with a 7.9% barrel rate is going to produce a solid xBA every year. No one wants the boring-as-mayo Luis Arraez. Well, don’t want Jake Cronengettinghismoneysworthinmayo or Jakeantacidafterspicyfood Cronenworth, either. You get the picture. High batting average is nice, and I think Jake Cronenworth can slap out a .290-ish average without too much effort. His plate discipline is absolutely gorge. He had a swinging strike rate of 5.8%, which was 8th best in the league, and of those eight, he was the only rookie. Of those eight, he was one of two with a 23% or lower amount of pitches swung at outside the zone with Anthony Rendon. Batting average will be no sweat for Cronenworth. Wouldn’t be surprised if he won a batting title or three before he’s done.

His fantasy value is going to boil down to what comes of his speed and power. Know why it’s so disappointing that Jake Cronenworth can’t read pitchers? No, not because Reading is Fundamental. I mean, it is, but because his speed is there. His sprint speed is just above Lewis Brinson, Amed Rosario, Delino DeShizz and Scott Kingery. While being about the same Sprint Speed as Tim Anderson. All 20+ steals guys with opportunities. Cronenworth will step off the plane onto the cacti-loaded plains of Arizona in Spring Training, look around and state he wants to steal more in 2021, then get caught 12 of 18 times. Enthusiasm isn’t the issue. He seems like he wants to steal bags. Put “want” in one hand, and “ability to steal” in the other hand and you have two empty hands. How ya putting “want” and “ability to steal” in your hands? C’mon! Being fast enough to steal vs. being able to steal feels like a 12-steal guy with seven caught stealings. Could he be better? Definitely, if someone coaches him up.

Finally, his power. Even in the comparison to Trent Grisham it showed Jake Cronenworth has less power than him. If Grisham is a 25-homer hitter, then Cronenworth can hit 17-20? Well, maybe. Last year his 29.4% fly ball rate, and a 9.5% HR/FB is gonna make me want to take the under. If he hits fly balls at that rate, he’s going to hit 118 fly balls next year, and with a 10% HR/FB, it’s optimistically, with rounding up, 12-14 homers. Thankfully, his last full year in the minors produced a 12.2% HR/FB. Still a 29% fly ball rate, but that could boost his homers into the 14-17 range. What makes him good also makes him less than ideal for power. Line drives are sailing out of Petco at a rate of 1 in “earthquake hits at exact right moment to tilt earth down and with it Petco’s fences.” Still, the average is elite, he has the speed for 20 steals and could sneak into 17 homers. Definitely Cronenworth the price. For 2021, I’ll give Jake Cronenworth projections of 71/15/77/.298/16 in 541 ABs with a chance for more.

 
  1. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!!!

    Fantastic fantasy sleeper report for Herr Cronenworth!

    a. What I love about you and this site is that you are 100% correct! Just kidding, but what I mean is your stats are always there and if you have these stats then it would follow that the player’s teams have those stats and then it would follow that they’ll be able to see the same thing that we see that Cronenworth is a good player and should play. Right? Other sites lack one or more of the following:

    1. The advanced metrics
    2. Your beautifully crafted mustache
    3. The insights and analyses of you and your beautiful team

    Add to that the loving and giving community that is Razzball nation and nothing compares.

    b. Completed the Frenchy test. Will see if all went well. It’s for a job in Djibouti. The best thing about Djibouti? It’s only one, 6-hour flight to Paris from Djibouti!

    c. MLB quote of the day for December 11, 2020

    1. Jay Bell, born December 11, 1965

    ‘One of the keys to hitting the outside strike is when to attack it. You don’t necessarily have to swing at it. That’s the pitcher’s pitch. Balls down the middle and on the inside part of the plate is where hitters have most success. Obviously, with two strikes you have to protect, but until then, try to get something better to hit.’

    Jay Bell

    2. Slick Coffman, born December 11, 1910

    ‘I remember Opening Day, 1940. I had just come over to the Tigers and it was my first game in the American League. Slick Coffman was pitching for the St. Louis Browns that day and he knocked me down with his first pitch the first time I came up. Then he yelled, ‘That’s how we pitch in the American League.’

    Dick Bartell in Baseball Digest (‘Bar-Tells ‘Em’, October 1961, Page 64)

    3. Bill Nicholson, born December 11, 1914

    ‘We all respected Bill Nicholson. He had been through what we hoped to go through. When he said something, we listened. He knew the pitchers in the league and would tell us what to expect in certain situations. He was a man’s man.’

    Putsy Caballero in Baseball Players of the 1950s: A Biographical Dictionary of All 1,560 Major Leaguers (Rich Marazzi, McFarland Publishing, 11/30/2000, Page 251)

    4. Jim Bottomley, died December 11, 1959

    ‘I noticed one thing that day, and that was that Bottomley could field,” former St. Louis manager and Hall of Famer Branch Rickey said of the first time he saw Bottomley play. “By the sinews of Joshua how he could field! His reach from wrist to ankle was sublime.”

    National Baseball Hall of Fame (Bridget Bielefield, 12/02/2009, ‘JIM BOTTOMLEY NAMED NL MVP’, Source)

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Smitty says:
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      Like Crow even more now. Should be on him more than I’ve been. Good points Grey.
      Very cool quote from Jay Bell. Been coaching hitters to “get a good pitch” forever, and to take an inside-out approach, especially with 2 strikes. Jay is saying lay off early until you get something better to hit. I say if you get fooled early – take. Similar, but different.
      However, many of the best seemingly prefer going the other way, N. Cruz and Soto come to mind. Guys that go oppo with authority are dangerous and tougher to punch out with their plate coverage.
      Thanks Ante! Hope all is well

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Smitty, isn’t the problem recognizing what a good pitch is?

        • Smitty says:
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          Exactly, pitch recognition is the key, and knowing the strike zone. Good hitters think right along with the pitcher and on a 2-0, 2-1, 3-1 count many tend to look fastball, and anticipate! On a 0-2, 1-2, 2-2 count pitchers go to their out pitch. With 2 strikes it’s time to shorten up, slightly expand the zone and protect staying inside-out. Remember Sexy Soto going trainyard in Houston! Truly epic!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Yeah, totally! Also, Soto is truly special

            • Smitty says:
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              Could see Sexy going with the #1 pick, almost did with #2

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                True

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A. Mostly 2 — thanks, Ante! Appreciate it!

      B. For a second, I read that and thought you completed a French toast — you already worked in Djibouti didn’t you?

      C. Jay Bell, that is a random name from the past

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        Grey!!!

        a. Thanks man.

        b. The ‘stache is the kicker for sure.

        c. No, never worked in Djibouti. In fact, never worked in any of its neighboring countries. Ethiopia is a good friend because they have just recently re-opened the railway connection between Addis Ababa and Djibouti City for transport by sea to India and the rest of the world if need be. The train ride in coach from Addis Ababa to Djibouti City is about 12 hours. It’s about 480 miles. If you’re thinking about travelling from Ethiopia (nice country) to Djibouti (kind of not great country) you need a tourist visa to enter Djibouti or leave Addis Ababa on the train destined for Djibouti City.

        d. Love Jay Bell. He was a good contact hitter. He’d be a good hitting coach if he isn’t already somewhere.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          C. I thought you worked in Africa tho…No?

          • Ante GALIC says:
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            Grey!!

            Ha! Have worked in Africa, you are correct! Have only visited 17 of Africa’s 55 countries so, about 30%.

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ah, gotcha

  2. Mike L says:
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    Would you rather take a flyer on Lewis Brinson or Taylor Trammell (or both) this year? I’m starting to get Jon Singleton and A.J Reed vibes even though they were at 1st.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Depends on the price, prolly Brinson for this year

      • Will says:
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        I think Brinson is a strict platoon player at this point. He can’t hit righties so it’s a short side role for him as well. Marlins sat him against a lot of right handers last season and he put up the “best” numbers of his 4 year career (which is a low hurdle). I’ll pass on Brinson…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Oh, I’m not saying I’m a Brinson fan

  3. Cram It says:
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    Not to be reductive, but Cronenworth will be 27 by the start of the season, Grisham just turned 24. Younger is sexier!

    Plus Croney has yet to show a semblance of power, prorating his power/speed 2020 to a full season gives you what Grisham did in half a season. There’s the perception explanation.

    • Dave D says:
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      Have you had any success drafting Chazz Jizzholm yet?

      • Cram It says:
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        Ha. I don’t draft in the winter.

        • Dave D says:
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          Fair enough.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I guess, but 100 draft spots sexier? Maybe…And I said in the post I would still take Grisham first too, and like him better, but cheaper/later/yadda

      • Cram It says:
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        I was just lending support as to why player A would be more favorably received in your experiment.

        I don’t know what rounds the 100 pick difference is. If Grisham is going round 5, then I could see Croney being better value.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Gotcha…Yeah, Grisham’s going around 50th overall, Cronenworth around 150th

  4. Dave D says:
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    I thought you were were writing about Cron & Werth, until I realized you were writing about Cronenworth. My only real question now: is Jake werth a Cron? Or two? This could also be a great baseball card with a picture of Jake in an “oreo”stuffed between CJ and Jayson entitled “Cron, Cronenworth, and Werth”. That would also be a great name for a law firm.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, nice! Cron/Werth…Now just need someone named Ampersand

      • DonnieB says:
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        I actually know a reach nerd in Las Vegas that named his kid Ampersand. Poor kid.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, that is indeed sad

      • Dave D says:
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        Ha! Ampersand in a camper van listening to Beethoven.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          We named our child Ampersand at Woodstock ’95, and now Ampersand doesn’t speak to us

          • Dave D says:
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            Exactly. Can he marry an emoji?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              At least he has no problems adding a symbol to a password

  5. DonnieB says:
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    Does this ranking of outfielders look about right:
    Stanton, Yastrzemski,Laureano and then Santander
    Thanks! When do rankings start?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      rankings are in mid-January — That ranking looks close

  6. Will says:
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    I’m surprised how high Grisham is going in drafts so far this offseason (55th). People seem to be extrapolating his 10/26/10 season into a full year’s production rather than looking at his MLB stat totals so far (all 371 at bats, lol). Will be interested to see where your projection ends up on Grisham and where you rank him, Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, it’s so weird bc other guys, like a few of my sleepers, aren’t be extrapolated at all

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Is this the one I’m in?

      • packers2018 says:
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        Grey, check your “my teams “link.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Why? What happened?

      • NUX says:
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        Yep, this is the one we started filling yesterday

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Let’s go Nuxie!

    • packers2018 says:
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      I’m in.

      For people who aren’t familiar, just log into the NFBC site like normal, then at the top of the page above the hotel you’ll see these icons. Click on the one that says 10’s.

    • return2earth says:
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      giddy up .. i’m in

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Nice!

    • Bamabterry says:
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      Only one left now. Im in. Cheers!!!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Nice!

  7. Jesse's Jacked Son says:
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    this Padres fan is salivating at those projections. i sure hope so

    i am worried about the .183 with 0 HRs finish to his season (errr 2 month exhibition show)

    but he did hit well with a dinger in the playoff series for the Cardinals which I know doesn’t mean all that much but it was fun to watch

    irrrrrregardless i’d take him in my NL Onlys for the 15/15 even if it ends up coming with a .250 BA – problem is both my NL Onlys are full of Padres fans so he won’t be as cheap as I’d like

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not too worried about him not hitting for a good average, he has elite AVG guy written all over him, surprised if he doesn’t hit near-.300 this year

  8. DonnieB says:
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    Alcantara or Sixto as my 3rd starter? Or take Laureano and wait until later for a Corbin or Mahle? Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Laureano

  9. DonnieB says:
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    How about Stanton,Yaz or Laureano? Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Laureano

      • DonnieB says:
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        I never thought I would see the day when you would recommend a Laureano type over Mike Stanton. Another 2020 phenomena.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I know, Giancarlo has screwed us for the final time…until he actually does well not on our teams then that’s the final screw

  10. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    David Dahl is gonna be a Texas Ranger

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Great landing spot, so I never have to think about him again

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Nobody drafting him outside of Coors. Rangers got him cheap. 3mil

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, good for Rangers but want no part

  11. toolshed says:
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    You sold me on cronenworh last year. My 2b was a mess and he was there for free. This is an obp keeper league and we keep 20+ players. I now have a young 2b with upside that I got for free. I am not cronenworthy! I owned kingery who was flat out awful. Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, nice!

  12. DonnieB says:
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    Walsh,Happ or Santander? Thanks,my man!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Santander

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oh my goodness! My mom’s gonna freak

  13. JayJ says:
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    Mcneil and canning or solak.
    will smith catcher or solak.
    16 man dyasnty. thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      McNeil

      Smith

  14. NUX says:
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    Game on in Bobby’s World, NFBC BB10

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Let’s do this!

Comments are closed.