Shortstop: Jake Cronenworth
While he may not be having as impressive a campaign as Brandon Lowe, Jake Cronenworth has also impressed this season.
In his second tour of duty with the Stone Crabs, Cronenworth is finding far more success. Last season, in a 35 game trial at High-A, he produced a mediocre .171/.270/.243 batting line, looking thoroughly overmatched by the improved competition. However, this season has been much different from the very beginning.
Cronenworth began the year on fire, with a 25 game hitting streak before he was finally halted. Despite slowing since then, he has produced an impressive .307/.413/.408 batting line. He ranks in the top five in the league in runs, on base percentage, and walks, using his decent speed and excellent batting eye to his advantage.
Even with those tools, one has to wonder what Cronenworth would be in at the major league level. As impressive as his batting eye is, Cronenworth may not have the bat for a full time role, especially with top prospect Willy Adames considered the future at short. Although he has just four games at a position other than short, his future may be as a utility player.
A solid contact hitter with an excellent batting eye, Jake Cronenworth has had quite the excellent season. The Tampa Bay Rays will want to see if he can continue to build on this first half performance.