Cron drives in four in 66ers victory

Angels prospect nearly doubles his RBI total for rest of month

By David Heck / Special to | May 16, 2012 9:52 PM ET

In the first week of the season, C.J. Cron put together two four-RBI games. Over a month later, he has his third.

The Angels' No. 3 prospect went 2-for-4 with a double and drove in four runs on Wednesday, helping the Class A Advanced Inland Empire 66ers to a 10-2 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm.

After hitting .202 in 24 games in April, Cron has posted a .339 average through 15 May games. Overall, he is batting .255 with four homers and 25 RBIs in 39 games.

"I'm really just trying to slow things down," said Cron, who was selected 17th overall in June. "I feel like I was a little rushed in the beginning of the year, I tried to do too much. Recently, I'm just trying to slow things down, get my foot down, throw my hands to the ball and really just simplify the game."

Cron recorded his first hit of the night in the fourth, singling on a ground ball through the left side to drive in Randal Grichuk from third. After getting hit by a pitch in the sixth, he connected on a two-run double in the eighth that put the 66ers up, 6-1.

"Runners on first and second, I was ready to hit the first pitch and he threw a fastball on the inner third," Cron said. "I got the barrel there, hit it down the line and got a double out of it."

The 66ers totaled six runs in the inning, with Jeff Bandy, Jean Almanzar and Brennan Gowens knocking in the other four runs. Almanzar finished the game 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs, while Travis Witherspoon hit Inland Empire's only homer of the night.

Though Cron struggled in April, the 22-year-old first baseman nonetheless was able to come through with timely hits, as he knocked in 16 runs over the month. Coming into Wednesday's game, he had collected just five RBIs in May.

"There's only so much you can do about RBIs, but that's one thing I pride myself on," Cron said. "I'm glad tonight I had the opportunity and I'm glad I took advantage."

After signing early last year, Cron had no trouble with Pioneer League pitching, batting .308 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs in 34 games. This year, he is just looking to stay healthy over the course of his first full professional season.

"Just sticking with it and playing a whole 140-game schedule," Cron said of his goals. "Hopefully I'll be in there every day, as much as I can, and help the team win as much as possible."

David Heck 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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