Cron collects four hits for 66ers

Slugging prospect homers twice, doubles twice, plates five

By Jonathan Raymond / Special to | August 20, 2012 11:06 PM ET

In a year that's been defined by his power production, C.J. Cron provided yet another example of his oversized output Monday.

The Angels' No. 2 prospect went 4-for-6, hitting two home runs and two doubles to drive in five runs as Class A Advanced Inland Empire beat Bakersfield, 16-6.

Cron also scored three times and his Minor League-leading RBI total to 121 for the 66ers this season.

"I got some good pitches to hit, and fortunately, I got a good part of the bat on the ball," said the 17th overall pick in the 2011 Draft. "I've been seeing the ball well lately. It's always nice, obviously, [to have that kind of game]. Every time you're at the plate, you want to try to hit the ball hard."

The four-hit effort was Cron's first of the season, and for a player who's made a habit of hitting for extra bases this season, all were extra-base hits. The game brought the first baseman's slugging percentage up to .518 for the year, good for ninth in the California League.

"I'm a middle-of-the-order guy. My job is to drive the ball and bring runs in and get extra-base hits," he said. "The guys in front of me have been doing a great job getting on base."

The 22-year-old is now hitting .297 this year, with a .332 on-base percentage and 25 homers -- third-most on the circuit -- and 31 doubles.

After playing all of last season with Rookie-level Orem in the Pioneer League, Cron jumped Class A Advanced. With the production he's shown, it's not out of the realm of possibility that a similar jump could be in order when next year rolls around.

Cron, of course, said he's only concerned with what he can control.

"I'm just trying ot make it as tough on the organization as I can, to get as high up there as possible," said the University of Utah product. "I try to do my best and they try to make the best decision. There's always room for improvement. Overall, I can't complain too much, but you have to try to improve every day.

"They all think I'm doing well. The hitting coach [Paul Sorrento] and manager [Bill Haselman] tell me to stick with what I'm doing, and baseball kind of takes care of itself. I'll get to where I need to get to if I keep working hard the same way."

Cron's roommate Jose Jimenez also homered twice and plated three runs as well.

"He hit two and I told him I would have to get two, won't let him show me up like that. I was just joking and it kind of came true," Cron said. "He did awesome, hit both of his to dead center on very good swings, gave us a lot of momentum."

Top Angels prospect Kaleb Cowart went 2-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and two RBIs, and No. 3 Los Angeles prospect Taylor Lindsey added two hits out of the leadoff spot for Inland Empire.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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