Los Angeles Angels C.J. Cron is coming into his own
By David Rice
The Los Angeles Angels have been waiting for C.J. Cron to put together a full season. With the exception of the six weeks he spent on the disable list with a broken hand, Cron did just that in 2016.
The Los Angeles Angels knew when they signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year deal that he would not be able to play first base throughout the duration of his contract. They groomed Mark Trumbo for that role, but they felt he struck out too much and found a good deal to get two quality pitchers and traded him to the Diamondbacks.
Thank goodness they had C.J. Cron waiting in the wings. Cron has been invaluable over the past couple of seasons as a fill-in at first and now pretty much a regular starter at first base for the Angels. Cron set career highs in 2016 in every statistical category except stolen bases. He finished the season with a .278 batting average with 16 homers and 69 runs batted in. If not for him missing 45 games due to a broken hand his numbers would have been even better.
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Cron again got off to a slow start to begin 2016 hitting only .203 with one homer and 11 RBI’s in the month of April. However, he quickly righted his ship with a strong month of May hitting .286 with four homers and 20 RBI’s. Cron would not stop there as he hit .303 in June, and .364 in both July and August to raise his average to .290. He dipped a little bit in September, but still had a strong season.
Not only did Cron hit better he also has improved his fielding immensely at first base as his playing time has increased there each season. In 97 games Cron committed just six errors good enough for a sparkling .993 fielding percentage. He nearly doubled his put outs and raised his assists to 48 helping turn 78 double plays.
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With Albert Pujols firmly entrenched at the designated hitter slot, you can expect Cron to play 130 plus games at first base in 2017 barring injuries. You could very easily see Cron hit 30 + homers and drive in 100+ runs if he remains healthy for the full season. This would be a big shot in the arm for the Angels offense.
Cron hit two home runs in a game three times for the Angels doing it twice in the first week of July against Boston in a 21-2 rout and against Tampa Bay in a 13-5 victory. Two of the Angels biggest run outputs of the 2016 season.
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Hopefully C.J. Cron will continue to have success in 2017 we will just have to wait and see.