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2023 Padres Season Review: Jake Cronenworth

Looking back on Jake Cronenworth’s 2023 season!

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

2023 Regular Season Statistics

1.0 fWAR, 127 G, .229 AVG, .312 OBP, .378 SLG, 92 wRC+, 54 R, 48 RBI, 10 HR

Positives From This Season

Jake Cronenworth switched positions from second base to first base to accommodate for the Xander Bogaerts addition and he ended up being serviceable despite not having much experience (or any) there before. There certainly were plays he made that a certain former Padres first baseman wouldn’t have.

Sure, his value went down when he shifted to first but it was always foolish for anyone to expect him to produce Freddie Freeman or Pete Alonso numbers at the plate because that’s not the type of hitter he is.

Negatives From This Season

He was never going to be Alonso at the plate but he needed to be better than what he was. Cronenworth isn’t part of the big four but he received a seven-year contract (that starts in 2024) at the beginning of the season after being named to back-to-back All-Star teams. That type of player can’t finish their season with a below average OPS+ (92) and an OPS under .700.

It’s a little concerning that his numbers have continued to decline at the plate since his first full season but he definitely was pressing this year and maybe was a victim of caring too much.

“I mean, I’ve always been hard on myself, no matter what point I’ve in my career,” Cronenworth told Kevin Acee in June. “This year specifically, maybe a little more…I don’t know if it’s a bad thing, but I care more; maybe too much. To an extent, I’m probably too hard on myself.”

Hopefully he’ll play more relaxed next season instead of trying to make things happen. The position he ends up playing might have something to do with that.

A trade might be a possibility as well if San Diego wants to get out of some of that contract but trading him before his new contract starts would be the front office admitting how bad a decision that was. And right now who’s going to be eager to take that contract with Cronenworth coming off a fractured wrist?