On top of guys like Tommy Pham, Luis Patino, and MacKenzie Gore gathering headlines through the first 11 games of Cactus League play, there’s another player who veterans on the Padres believe has been the most-impressive player up to this point in spring training.
In a recent survey done by MLB.com, 10 veterans on the team, made up of five hitters and five pitchers, were asked who they believed were the biggest standouts to them this spring. Out of 12 total votes (some veterans named multiple players) INF/RHP Jake Cronenworth was the only player to receive three votes, with everyone else receiving two or less.
Here’s what pitcher Craig Stammen had to say about why he chose Cronenworth:
”He’s just a really good athlete, which makes him good at a lot of different things. It just seems like he’s under control at all times. He’s never out of his element. He does it all. It’s hard to make everything look natural, and he makes it all look natural — hitting, pitching, fielding.”
Although it’s still the preseason, that’s high praise for the young Cronenworth who wasn’t even the main component of the trade that sent him to San Diego. That was obviously Tommy Pham. But no matter what sport you’re playing, it’s never a bad thing to have too many players that are “really good athletes.” If Cronenworth keeps this up, there’s a very solid chance he earns one of the final roster spots.