Just in case you haven't already seen the highlight of C.J. Cron's weekend mega-homer, be sure to hit the link. The ball traveled an estimated 468 feet, reaching the second deck in left-center in Toronto. That thing was obliterated — as thoroughly crushed as any non-Stanton homer I've seen this year.
Cron is a 24-year-old first base prospect recently called up by the Angels, and he's opened his big league career by going 10-for-24 with four extra-base hits and five RBIs. Before the promotion, Cron was slashing .319/.369/.602 at Triple-A Salt Lake with 12 doubles and six homers over 28 games. And he was a monster in the Arizona Fall League, too, finishing top-three in pretty much every important hitting category.
So we're not talking about some off-the-radar fluke here. Cron has hit at every stop. Unlike many young players with high-end power, Cron has never posted big strikeout totals in the minors. He's not the world's most selective young hitter, however, as he's drawn just 57 walks in 1,403 minor league plate appearances. Still, he projects as a guy who should hit for average and clear plenty of fences (and almost never steal a base).
Cron is no threat to usurp Albert Pujols at first, obviously, but he's emerged as a serious problem for Raul Ibanez. Those two are essentially sharing DH responsibilities at the moment, and Cron is the guy doing all the hitting. Ibanez is stuck in a 1-for-24 slide, batting just .140/.250/.270 on the year. He'll also turn 42 in three weeks, for those who didn't realize he was playing beyond his expiration date.
In deeper mixed leagues, Cron is definitely worth a speculative pick-up, particularly if you have a need in the power cat's. The Angels are facing lefties in three of their next four games (Buehrle, Lee, Bedard), so Cron's bat figures to be somewhere in the heart of the order. Add as needed; use responsibly.
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