Spring training is often a time where young, unproven players can make a name for themselves. Well, that appears to be the case for Los Angeles Angels first baseman C.J. Cron.
The 24-year-old has been a on tear this spring training as he is batting .545 (6-for-11) with one home run and six RBIs in seven games played. Cron has taken advantage of his opportunity as he has continued to get timely hits with his most notable one coming a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning that tied the game at 4-4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This has sparked comparisons to former Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo, who came on the scene for the team in the 2011 spring training as he batted .297 and led the team in home runs (six), RBIs (20), runs scored (18) and doubles (nine).
Cron shares many similar physical traits to Trumbo as he is also first baseman with a strong build and possesses plenty of power. The comparisons don’t stop there, though, as each has had plenty of success in their minor league careers and have posted near identical numbers at the plate.
In his three seasons in the minors, Cron has a triple slash of .286/.329/.491 that mirrors and is slightly better than Trumbo’s six-year minor league triple slash of .275/.330/.474. The 24-year-old has also been a more patient hitter as he only has 186 strikeouts, which is 75 less than Trumbo had in his first three years in the minors.
The two also share similar breakout seasons as Cron hit .293 with 27 home runs and 123 RBIs in 2012 that draws plenty of comparisons to Trumbo’s impressive 2010 season where he batted .304 with 36 home runs and 122 RBIs.
Although Cron’s numbers dipped a bit last year as he batted .274 with 14 home runs and 83 RBIs from 2012, his high level of production so far this spring training is telling of his continued development as a hitter. It seems as if he has carried over his outstanding play from the Arizona Fall League last season where he won the batting title by hitting .413 to go along with five home runs, 20 RBIs and 12 extra-base hits in 20 games played.
With Cron continuing to swing a hot bat, it has greatly helped his confidence at the plate as he is seeing the ball better and taking advantage of pitches that he can hit. If he is able to keep up the high level of production, there is no telling of what’s in store for the first baseman. It could possibly lead to bigger and better than things such as a promotion to Triple-A or possibly a call-up to the majors.
Ultimately, Cron has shown so far this spring training that he has plenty of potential. If he continues to tear the cover off the ball the Angels will have to consider finding him a spot on their major-league roster.