Prospect Hunting: C.J. Cron

In a curious move, the Angels have shaken up their roster promoting Grant Green and CJ Cron. Both are in tonight’s lineup against Matt Harrison of the Rangers.

Can this C.J. help the Angels too?

Can this C.J. help the Angels too?

Cron is a first round draft pick out of the University of Utah and debuts tonight arriving to the majors ahead of fellow first base prospect Jonathan Singleton. Cron resurfaced in prospect ranks after a great showing in the Arizona Fall League and he has ridden that crest all the way to Los Angeles. Before breaking down what he can do with the Angels, here are his stats from the last two seasons in the minors and the fall league:

C.J. Cron

G

R

HR

RBI

BB

K

AVG/OBP/SLG

2013 AA

134

56

14

83

23

83

274/319/428

2013 Fall

20

17

5

20

8

11

413/467/700

2014 AAA

28

19

6

26

7

23

319/369/602

First here is an idea of the playing time scenarios according to Alden Gonzalez the MLB.com Angels beat writer:

  • “Looks like it’ll be a Stewart/Jimenez platoon at 3B. Green will probably get most of his playing time in LF, Cron at DH. Ibanez can do both.”

As to what Cron is capable of, his plate discipline will be the determining factor. He does not strike out a high percentage like George Springer does, but his OBP does struggle. Cron tends to put too many balls into play. He can swing at bat pitches and hit them, which actually hurts his average and on base abilities. His power does seem to be emerging but the PCL can inflate any prospects power potential. Another interesting split from his AAA stats:

  • C.J. Cron vs. LHP: 278/350/389; vs. RHP: 326/373/642

Even though he is making his debut against Harrison, a pitcher who struggles against right handed hitters, Cron has hit right handed pitching better early in the season. Batting fifth puts him in the middle of the lineup and with the potential to drive in runs. He may start out hot but there will be an adjustment period. His pedigree is much better than Chris Colabello, but I think he may mirror his propensity to streaks during his time in the majors. When he is seeing the ball well he will be hitting for power, but when his discipline struggles, he will be prone to low average and OBP’s.

There were a couple of comparisons to Trumbo as well, but his power is not the same and he does not strike out nearly as much. Here is his Oliver projection courtesy of Fangraphs:

  • C.J. Cron – 143 G, 66 R, 20 HR, 78 RBI, 4 SB 250/287/417

Cron has to be part of the reason that the Angels were willing to move Trumbo. It is a bit surprising to see him up this soon but the injury to Kole Calhoun and the lack of offense even with Pujols resurgence has given him a chance. I will take the under on all the numbers above but Cron will still be able to help deeper league teams (15+) and AL only teams. For mixed leagues, I think he is more of a watch at this point or add if there are deep benches then sit him when he cools.

Greg Jewett is a staff writer for Roto Analysis and you can follow us all season @RotoAnalysis and @gjewett9

Statistical Credits:

MiLB.com

Fangraphs.com

MLB.com – Arizona League Stats

CJ Cron Picture Credit: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=oSR8dFdiIS6qHM&tbnid=CNo5-N4s4pcMmM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.milb.com%2Fnews%2Farticle.jsp%3Fymd%3D20131108%26content_id%3D63798660%26fext%3D.jsp%26vkey%3Dnews_milb&ei=BHNlU7CsAubhsATE_ICoDg&bvm=bv.65788261,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNGohiVbH2ViInTyUG81L4vXbaN8ow&ust=1399243850504593

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