A two-way player during his three years at the University of Michigan, Cronenworth made a steady climb through Tampa Bay's system before breaking out in 2019 at Triple-A, where he showcased some newfound power to go along with an improved feel to hit. He also opened eyes in his return to the mound, despite having not pitched competitively in four years. The Rays rewarded Cronenworth with a 40-man roster spot after the season, then packaged him with Tommy Pham to San Diego in December to acquire Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards.
Cronenworth is a pure hitter who has long been able to hit for average thanks to a clean, fluid stroke from the left side of the plate. His over-the-fence power finally emerged in 2019 after he tacked on muscle and adopted a more aggressive approach, and he's always had the ability to manage the strike zone well while getting on base at a high clip. Cronenworth's athleticism and quickness give him solid range at shortstop, where he's viewed as an average defender with good hands who's capable of making all the necessary plays.
Cronenworth's biggest asset as a shortstop is the plus arm strength that prompted the Rays to give him another shot at pitching. Serving as an "opener" at Triple-A Durham, Cronenworth operated with a 94-96 mph fastball that he paired with a knee-buckling curveball and a cutter that touches 90. With the potential to offer real value as both an infielder and a reliever, Cronenworth appears poised to become a legitimate two-way talent at the highest level.