3 San Diego Padres who need to step up before it's too late

Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v San Diego Padres - Game One
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v San Diego Padres - Game One / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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Jake Cronenworth
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Four / Harry How/GettyImages

San Diego Padres need Jake Cronenworth to step up before it's too late

When a player changes a position from one year to another, it can affect them at the plate as well. Signing Xander Bogaerts to play shortstop caused a position shuffle around the infield for the Padres that included Jake Cronenworth, who has struggled at the plate. He made the move from second base to first this season.

Cronenworth has not been the same hitter this season coming up in clutch situations as he has done in the past. His numbers have dipped this season, but with a lack of depth in the lineup, getting him going would be big for San Diego.

To compare his numbers, last season he slashed .239/.332/.722 with 30 doubles and 17 homers with 88 RBI. This season, he's slashing .208/.311/.656 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, and 28 RBI. I get it, there is the post-All-Star Break and two and a half months of baseball still left to be played, but Cronenworth is someone who can be a difference-maker in the lineup.

June was a tough month for Cronenworth who hit just .214 with one home run, seven RBI, and 17 strikeouts. He has stuck out 73 times already this season and is on pace to pass his total from last season of 131. He has many at-bats this season where it looks like he's guessing at the plate, not something he wants to be doing.

Never say never in terms of whether or not the Padres can get back into postseason contention, but they certainly need some players to step up on the mound and at the plate. If they fail to make the playoffs, could there be some change coming in 2024? Maybe you can make the case some are playing for a roster spot before the trade deadline.