17th Overall: L.A. Angels Select C/1B C.J. Cron


The Angels selected C.J. Cron with the 17th overall pick of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Cron is the son of ex-major league infielder Chris Cron, who has managed in the minor leagues since 1995. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound right-handed hitter was selected from the University of Utah.

The Numbers:
Cron finished the season batting .434 with 26 doubles, 15 home runs and 59 RBI. His .803 slugging percentage also led all Division 1 college players this season. Although Cron spent some time behind the dish he is projected to be a first baseman or designated hitter because of an injury to his throwing arm.

The Tools:
Although Cron features a mightier bat, he often draws comparisons to former MLB first baseman Sean Casey. Defensively he features soft hands, an average glove and limited range at first base. His speed and base running ability is also stated to be questionable. Regardless, his power and advanced approach at the plate were considered amongst the best in the draft. There is little doubt that his skills will transfer in the show.

What They Say:

Fangraphs.com :

"Cron has perhaps the best power in the entire draft and could even hit for average. Unfortunately, he’s a bat-only player and doesn’t field or run well."

MLB.com :

"He should hit for average and power, with the ability to hit with authority to all fields. He doesn’t have plus bat speed, but with terrific plate discipline and a natural feel for hitting, he’s going to be a productive offensive player."

Baseball America :

"He doesn’t move well at first base and is a bottom-of-the-scale runner, but that’s all right because he’s the best all-around hitter in the country and should have no problem producing the numbers teams expect from a first baseman."

My Thoughts:

With Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales in the mix for the foreseeable future, the selection initially seemed a little odd to me. After studying his scouting reports I can see why the Angels were so high on him though. The MLB Draft is definitely a craps shoot but Cron seems to be a can’t miss power hitter. The fact that he shouldn’t need much time in the minors is simply icing on the cake. I look forward to watching his progress throughout the Angels farm system.

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