Inland Empire 66ers starting first baseman C.J. Cron puts each at bat in perspective when he is up at the plate.
"I take each at-bat independently from each one," said Cron. "Each at-bat, I am focused and I try not to do too much. Whether I'm going 0-for-3 or 3-for-3, I just try to put my bat on the ball and get on base."
The 1st round draft pick out of the University of Utah has certainly done a lot as Cron is leading the team in nearly all offensive categories hitting .285 and 19 home runs. What is perhaps his most impressive statistic this season, is his California League leading 101 RBIs. If Cron were to continue at this pace, he would have a shot at the all-time club record of 123 set by Chin Feng Chen in 1999. With the potential run at history, Cron tries not to think too much of it.
"I don't really look at my totals too much," said Cron. "I didn't really have any specific numbers in mind coming into this season, so whatever numbers I put up, hopefully it'll be good for the team."
Cron though did believe that if he happened to actually break the record, it would be a nice thing to look upon.
"It would be cool to have the club record," said Cron. "It can be something that I can look back and say I did."
The stocky 6-4 235 pound infielder has been hitting in the cleanup spot for much of the year and manager Bill Hasselman has seen excellent plate discipline as the plate as well as the ability to get base runners home.
"It is a very tough thing to hit with runners in scoring position," said Hasselman. "Cron has been clutch for us in those situations. He is our run producing guy and he has done his job at this point in the season."
In regards to perhaps breaking the club record in RBIs, Hasselman raised the point of setting goals.
"A player might say I want to have 50 RBIs this year," said Hasselman. "Once he is close to 50, then he might go for 70...90...100...and eventually it gets to a point where he is close to breaking the record. Any time a player is able to get that kind of record is a great accomplishment. The fact that we're talking about Cron maybe breaking the record is an accomplishment on his part."
Hitting Coach Paul Sorrento praised Cron's plate discipline which has allowed him to pit up the great offensive numbers he has during the season.
"The mentality that he has is what separates minor leaguers from major leaguers," said Sorrento. "When he has guys on base, he gets this keen sense and hunkers down at the plate to get his man home. With his patience, he waits for the pitcher to make a mistake and then takes advantage of it. He's going to have a very bright future in his career if he keeps this up."
So far Cron's major league mentality has guided him to a stronger RBI season than other former San Bernardino super stars who eventually reached the majors. Included are current Ceveland Indian Carlos Santana (96 in 2008), part time member of the Dodgers in 2012 Scott Van Slyke (100 in 2009), and last year's team leader and a part time Halo in 2012 Kole Calhoun (99 in 2011). If Cron can keep his killer instinct in the final month of the season, he could have a record setting 2012 in an Inland Empire 66ers uniform, in preparation for other great seasons in higher levels in the years to come.