Aces' Cron cracks two more homers

D-backs 19th-ranked prospect caps big month with six RBIs

Kevin Cron is hitting .474 (18-for-38) with five homers and 19 RBIs in his last nine games. (Reno Aces)

By Vincent Lara-Cinisomo / MiLB.com | July 1, 2018 12:55 AM

Count Kevin Cron among those who are sorry to see June end.

Three days after recording his second career three-homer game, the D-backs' No. 19 prospect went yard twice and drove in six runs to lead Triple-A Reno to a 14-8 victory over Tacoma on Saturday at Cheney Stadium.

Video: Reno's Cron goes deep again

The TCU product has 13 homers and 54 RBIs, despite missing more than a month because of a strained left oblique. He put up a .316/.376/.600 slash line with eight homers and 30 RBIs in June and has been even better the past 10 games, going 18-for-40 (.450) with six roundtrippers.

The 14th-round selection in the 2014 Draft logged a career high seven RBIs in Thursday's three-homer performance. So locked in was Cron that he didn't realize Saturday was the end of the month.

"It's over? Until you said something, I didn't realize June was over. Obviously, it's been good month for me, I've been putting good swings on the ball," he said.

Multi-homer games are becoming old hat for Cron, who has three already this season and 10 in his professional career -- including his first three-homer performance for Double-A Jackson last April.

"I don't really look into the launch angle thing," Cron said of his home run barrage. "I'm just trying to square something up in the middle of the field. If I'm hitting [well], I'm not necessarily worried about home runs."


Gameday box score


Scouts pointed out Cron's lack of walks as a negative, and that's something the 25-year-old has taken to heart.

"The last couple of years, that was a big point," he said. "Not necessarily to walk more, but to swing at better pitches. Early on in my career, I was very aggressive early in the count, but I'm selectively aggressive now."

The hulking right-handed hitter blasted 51 long balls in the Southern League over the past two years and was named MVP after leading the circuit in homers, RBIs, extra-base hits (60) and total bases (256) last season.

Despite his strong showing, the D-backs didn't protect Cron on the 40-man roster last offseason, but he was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft. He preferred not to think about his strong season as validation of his talents, or that other teams made a mistake not grabbing him.

"You can't control what's goes on outside the lines," he said. "Whatever happens after the fact, you just have to keep going doing what you're doing."

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Cron acknowledges he's not yet looking for the next step, but he's adapted to a new role that can potentially make him a better fit in a D-backs' lineup, which currently has perennial All-Star Paul Goldschmidt entrenched at first base. The Placentia, California, native has played about 75 percent of his time at third base.

"I'm trying to add more value. I'm always looking to add something," he said. "I can't really control [whether I get promoted]. But as a baseball player, you're always confident in your ability. I'm just not thinking about [the Majors] right now."

Cron had plenty of help in Saturday's slugfest. A.J. Pollock homered, doubled and singled before being removed for a pinch-hitter and fellow rehabber Steven Souza Jr. tripled twice prior to an early exit. Kristopher Negron also homered, while Ildemaro Vargas singled twice and scored twice.

The Rainiers dented the scoreboard as well, pounding out 14 hits. Daniel Vogelbach homered for the second game in a row, walked four times and scored three runs, while Andrew Aplin collected three singles and three runs scored.

Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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