Jackson, Tenn. - Two members of this year's Jackson squad were honored as Postseason All-Stars by the Southern League Tuesday. First baseman Kevin Cron and relief pitcher Gabriel Moya were both selected, giving the Generals a pair of Postseason All-Stars for the 10th time in the team's 20-year history.
Cron, 24, has been a mainstay on Jackson's roster from start to finish. At the time of the announcement, Cron led the Southern League in home runs (23), RBI (87), extra-base hits (57), total bases (24) and games played (131). He also ranks second in hits (137), doubles (34) and slugging percentage (.491). Cron has played in 131 of Jackson's 133 total games so far.
The Phoenix native started the season with a bang, hitting three home runs in the third game of 2017. He is one of just three in the Southern League to accomplish the feat this year, and he became the first General since 2013 to do it. Cron hit .293 with 14 home runs in the First Half and was named a Mid-Season All-Star. He represented Jackson in the home run derby at Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola.
If Cron leads the league in home runs at the season's end, he will become the first player to lead the Southern League in home runs in consecutive seasons since 1975 and 1976 (Jim Obradovich, Orlando). He hit 26 home runs last year with Mobile to pace the circuit, but the slugger significantly upped his average this season. With a week left in the season, Cron is batting .280 compared to a .222 mark in 2016. His 55 walks are a career high, 22 more than he has ever had in a season.
Moya, 22, began the season with the Generals before a trade landed him with Chattanooga. He was almost unhittable with Jackson, going 4-1 with a 0.82 in 34 relief outings before being dealt. As a General, he was a perfect 17-for-17 with save opportunities and went more than two months without allowing an earned run.
Between Jackson and Chattanooga, Moya currently ranks second in the Southern League with 23 saves. He leads all relievers in opponents batting average (.155), strikeouts per nine innings (13.66), and fewest runners allowed per nine innings (7.41). The lefty has allowed runs in just four of 45 total outings, and he is perfect in save chances.
The Diamondbacks signed Moya as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2012. He had been in the organization his entire career until July 27, when he was traded to Minnesota for catcher John Ryan Murphy. The Postseason All-Stars in the Southern League were voted on by radio broadcasters, field managers, general managers and local media. Jackson has had multiple representatives in three of the last four seasons.
Thank you to all the great fans that made 2017-Jackson's first as an Arizona affiliate-a success! The Generals open up the 2018 season at home on April 5 against Jacksonville! Call the team at (731) 988.5299, stop by The Ballpark or go online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com to get season tickets for next year now!
UPDATE: Cron finished the season atop the Southern League in games played (138), home runs (25), total bases (256), RBI (91), and extra-base hits (60). He also ranked among the league leaders in runs (76, tied for 4th), hits (146, 2nd), doubles (35, 2nd), walks (56, 9th), batting average (.283, 11th), and slugging percentage (.497, 2nd).
UPDATE: Moya finished the season first among qualified Southern League relief pitchers in strikeouts-per-nine-innings (13.42) and baserunners-per-nine-innings (7.10). Opponents batted just .150 against Moya, also a league-best mark among relievers. Moya's 24 saves and 0.77 ERA are the second-best marks of any Southern League bullpen arm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.