ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Reno Aces infielder Kevin Cron launched 39 home runs to claim the Joe Bauman Award as Minor League Baseball's 2019 home run king. The award, presented by Musco Sports Lighting, will be presented at the Baseball Winter Meetings Awards Luncheon on Dec. 9, along with a check for $7,800, representing $200 for each home run Cron hit this season.
The award, first presented in 2002, is named for Joe Bauman, who set a then-professional record with 72 home runs in 1954 while playing for the Roswell Rockets of the Class-C Longhorn League.
"Winning the Joe Bauman Award is a pretty special honor," said Cron. "Winning this award is the result of having a consistent approach and following a process at the plate and trusting in that process all season long."
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Cron became the first player to win the Bauman Award while playing in fewer than 100 games (84) and despite being held homerless in his last 11 games. The only other player to win the award while playing in fewer than 110 games was Albuquerque's Mitch Jones, who won the 2009 Joe Bauman Award with 35 homers in 108 games.
Cron topped his previous career high in home runs by 12 (27 in 2015 with Advanced Class-A Visalia) and has added five home runs in 32 games (62 at-bats) with Arizona this year. With Reno, and his father, Chris, as the Aces manager, Cron recorded six multi-homer games and two three-homer games (April 25 vs. Fresno and Aug. 13 at Oklahoma City).
"The whole year was like I was eight years old again, going to the ballpark with my dad, so it was like the icing on the cake having him there as I had this kind of a season," said Cron. "Not many people in professional baseball get a chance to play for their dad so that is something I'll always cherish."
Cron, 26, made his Major League debut for the Diamondbacks on May 24, 2019, and hit his first Major League home run June 7 at Toronto off Marcus Stroman. His brother, C.J., is a first baseman for the Minnesota Twins. He was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 14th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Christian University.
Classification leaders, provided they are not the overall winner, receive a $500 cash award. With Cron claiming the Triple-A honor, Chattanooga's (Reds) Ibandel Isabel, the runner-up for the 2018 overall award, led the Double-A ranks with 26 home runs in 91 games. Pirates power hitting prospect Mason Martin led the Class-A classification with 35 home runs between Greensboro and Bradenton. At the Short Season level, Orem Owlz (Angels) shortstop Jeremiah Jackson led the way with 23 home runs.