The powerful trio for the Los Angeles Angels were off to a fast start this season. Mike Trout has played like the MVP caliber player that he has been the past two seasons. Albert Pujols has regained his beast-like form that made him the most feared bat in the league. Even Josh Hamilton appeared to be finding his groove at the start of the season, but an injury after just eight games destroyed the trio once again. But since his call-up top prospect CJ Cron has made a name for himself. He has entered the league on fire and looks to give the club the most dominant trio they have had since they acquired Pujols.
Since the day he was drafted by the Angels in the first round of the 2011, Cron has been viewed as a top power hitting prospect. Although he was first drafted as a catcher, he has moved to first base. Through the past two seasons, MLB.com has ranked Cron as one of the top three first base prospects in all of baseball.
Since the shift he has not been the most impressive fielder, but during the first two seasons, Cron’s bat was an immediate success. He batted a combined .296, while slugging 40 homeruns. In 2013 while he saw his power dip slightly, he was able to shine in the Arizona Fall League. He not only led the league with a .417 batting average, but also was able to finish second in the league in both homeruns and RBIs. These great numbers helped to regain confidence after just 14 homeruns in the regular season.
After batting .319 with six homeruns and a .602 slugging percentage through the first month of the season this year, Cron earned his promotion to the Angels. Seeing time as both a designated hitter and a first baseman, he has played his way into the lineup with the Angels. Through his first seven games, mostly batting in the fifth spot, Cron has batted .417 with a homerun.
In his brief career, Cron has shown tremendous ability to make contact. For a power hitter, Cron has shown a tremendous knowledge of the strike-zone. While he doesn’t walk much (he has never walked more than 25 times in a season) his strike out rates have remained low. This ability to make contact consistently should help him to be a steady major leaguer for years.
Power hitters that make consistent contact are often rare to find in baseball. Players that show those type of abilities stay in the game for a long time. At the age of 24, he has potential to be a mainstay in the Angels’ lineup for years to come. The Angels were supposed to be all about Hamilton, Pujols, and Trout, but Cron’s emergence the gives the club a new trio that will give opposing pitchers nightmares for a long time.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference