D-backs’ Kevin Cron is the 2019 MiLB home run king
Since 2002, the Joe Bauman Award has been handed out to the home run leader in Minor League Baseball.
For the first time, an Arizona Diamondback will take home the hardware this season.
First baseman Kevin Cron launched 39 home runs in the minors in 2019, 38 of which were with Triple-A Reno.
He did so in just 84 games, the fewest any Joe Bauman Award winner has played in to date, according to MiLB.com. Cron hit home runs in 46 percent of his games.
It did not take Cron very long to find his rhythm in Triple-A this year, crushing 11 home runs by the end of April.
His powerful start gave him the cushion necessary to stay on top of the minors in long balls. Three other hitters belted 35 or more home runs with all of them playing least 16 more games in the minor leagues than Cron.
The closest was outfielder Seth Brown of Las Vegas (Oakland), but he was called up to the Athletics with 37 home runs on the season.
Cron proceeded to punish the baseball at record-breaking lengths.
By August 11, he had broken Reno’s single-season home run record with 33, surpassing current D-backs’ first baseman Christian Walker’s mark. By August 14, Cron was the Aces’ all-time leader in home runs with 56 (currently has 60).
Cron’s award will be handed out to him at the MLB Winter Meetings in December, where he will be awarded with $200 for each home run he hit ($7,800 in total), according to MiLB.com.
With the accomplishment, Cron joins a list of past winners that includes 2017 National League MVP Kris Bryant, 2006 NL MVP Ryan Howard and NL all-time rookie leader in home runs Pete Alonso.
It also landed him on Baseball America’s Triple-A All-Star team as the starting first baseman.
The 2019 minor league home run king is currently on the D-backs where he is hitting .206 with five home runs in 63 at-bats.
His peripherals show massive power, as his slugging percentage is .508 and he is hitting the ball hard 44.4% of the time, according to FanGraphs. That is a higher rate (in a much smaller sample size) than superstars Mike Trout and Nolan Arenado.