Cron Follows Father's Path To Angels

ANAHEIMChris Cron tore through the Angels minor league system, hitting 22 home runs in one year at Double-A and 39 in two years at Triple-A. He ascended to the major leagues in 1991, getting 15 at-bats and hitting no home runs, and that was the end of his Angels career.

From the son, the Angels hope for better. The Angels drafted Cron's son C.J. with their first pick in this year's draft.

"I heard my dad was a pretty good player," C.J. Cron said. "He was playing behind Wally Joyner. That was pretty good competition."

Cron hit .434 at Utah this season, with 15 home runs and 26 doubles in 49 games. In his freshman year, he was the only player in the country to get three hits in a game off Stephen Strasburg.

Cron, 21, played this season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, an injury he said made it painful for him to throw. Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said he would have been more concerned had Cron played third base or the outfield and said he expected Cron would have surgery to repair the tear soon after he signs.

As perhaps the best college power hitter available, Cron appeared to be a logical pick for an organization so short on power that the likes of Maicer Izturis and Alberto Callaspo have batted in the middle of the lineup. Outfielder Mike Trout, the consensus top prospect in the minor leagues, is not regarded as a pure power hitter. However, Wilson said he would have been comfortable drafting a pitcher.

"The need didn't really come into play at all," he said. "It just happened to work out the way. We weren't looking for a guy we needed. We were looking for a guy we wanted."


Tom Gamboa, the manager of the Angels' high Class A Inland Empire affiliate, resigned to spend time with his 85-year-old mother, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The Angels promoted Inland Empire hitting coach Damon Mashore to manager and filled Mashore's position by promoting former major leaguer Dick Schofield from his coaching position in the Rookie-level Arizona League.
• The Angels promoted top catching prospect Carlos Ramirez to Double-A Arkansas after seven games at Inland Empire. Ramirez, 23, hit a combined .271/.380/.391 in 38 games at Inland Empire and low Class A Cedar Rapids.