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Friday, July 8, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: C.J. CRON 1B LOS ANGELES ANGELS

Maybe it just took a little bit of time.  That has been my argument in hindsight when it comes to Los Angeles Angels DH/1B C.J. Cron who over the last week has been as hot as a hitter can get at the dish.  Long a personal favorite who championed Cron as a sleeper heading into the 2015 season, I sat back and watched the guy fall flat on his face that season in a combination both of his own doing and as a result of his veteran-loving manager.  While Mike Scoscia being discriminatory against young players is well-known, Cron no doubt was pressing at the dish a year ago which helped get planted firmly on the bench early in the season as he was mired in a pronounced slump.  Still Cron fought back and began to lace ropes during the second half of the season and he wound up making his final line very respectable to the tune of a .262 average with 16 home runs and 51 RBI in 404 at-bats.

Heading into the 2016 season, Cron's status was murky once again but he was being given another chance to make a name for himself at the age of 26.  A .203 April brought back memories of his ugly beginning to 2015 however and brought more egg on my face after once again talking up the burgeoning power and underrated hitting ability of Cron.  The Angels stuck with Cron however and the results since have been very good.  A .286 May was followed by a .303 June which set the stage for an epic start to July.  With the month only six days old, Cron proceeded to smack a crazy 5 home runs, drive in 13, and bat a scorching .429.  For the season now, Cron is hitting .283 with 11 home runs and 46 RBI, in the process earning his way into UTIL or CI use in fantasy baseball.

Getting back to what led me to praise Cron in the first place, I talked up the terrific approach and skills he brought to the plate which he has shown so far this season.  Striking out in just 14.3 percent of his at-bats, Cron has done the job there and his power is starting to show.  This is a guy who can hit 25 home runs is all breaks right and only his slow April start will prevent that this season.  All in all though, Cron looks ready to stick now as a solid fantasy baseball contributor.


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