Angels' Cron Had To Lose To Get Ahead
LOS ANGELES—It's not so much the 100 that first baseman C.J. Cron
as the 25 he lost that might make his season a success in the eyes of
the Angels' new hierarchy.
The Angels' first-round pick (17th overall) out of Utah in 2011, Cron
had a successful debut at Rookie-level Orem last year, batting
.308/.371/.629 with 13 home runs in 34 games before a knee injury ended
Cron, 22, has bounced back from that knee surgery (and persistent
shoulder issues that will eventually require surgery as well) to hit
.286/.322/.490 with 20 home runs in 455 at-bats at high Class A Inland
Empire. He became the first player at any level of the minors (or
majors) to reach 100 RBIs this season, driving in 101 in his first 102
games in the Cal League. The franchise record of 123 RBIs (set by former
Dodgers prospect Chin-Feng Chen in 1999) was well within sight.
"Everything's been going well," Cron said. "I'm a middle-of-the-order guy. (Driving in runs) is what I'm supposed to do."
But more important was Cron's reaction to a spring conversation with
Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais who took over the Angels'
player development this year with Jerry Dipoto's arrival as GM.
"Going to spring training, coming off knee surgery, I had gotten out of
shape and they noticed that," Cron said. "I guess it was a bad first
impression . . . I lost about 20, 25 pounds since spring training.
"(Servais) basically told me the shape I was in, I wouldn't be able to advance very far in this game."
With his knee healthy, the 6-foot-4 Cron took that advice to heart and
responded. Now he can focus on the other steps in his development,
"There are other areas of his game (other than driving in runs) that he
is focused on improving and will have to improve in order to progress
toward the major leagues as a middle-of-the-order type," Dipoto said.
• The Angels traded two starters from the Double-A Arkansas rotation
, Ariel Pena
) to the Brewers for Zack Greinke
. The domino
effect of that trade meant a promotion from Inland Empire to Arkansas
for lefthander Nick Maronde
. The third-round pick in 2011 went 3-1, 1.82
in 10 starts wrapped around a long DL stint.
• The Angels' first pick in 2005 (37th overall), righthander Trevor Bell
was released from Triple-A Salt Lake in late July. Bell, 25, had a
record of 4-8, 5.21 in a series of callups to the Angels from 2009-11.