Angels top pick C.J. Cron will put off surgery to play in minor leagues
First-round pick C.J. Cron, who has agreed to terms with the Angels on a $1.467-million signing bonus, has decided to put off surgery on his right (throwing) shoulder to begin playing for the organization's advanced rookie-league affiliate in Orem, Utah, this summer.
Cron, whose signing will be announced before Monday night's game against the Washington Nationals, hit .434 with 15 home runs, 26 doubles and 59 runs batted in as a junior at Utah despite playing the entire season with a tear in his right labrum.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound first baseman, who was the 17th overall pick of the draft, will play for about two months and undergo surgery in September, a procedure that is expected to sideline the 21-year-old for three to nine months.
Cron, the son of former Angels first baseman/outfielder Chris Cron, was among the best pure power hitters in the draft after leading the nation with an .804 slugging percentage and earning Mountain West Conference player of the year honors.
The Angels so coveted Cron, they picked him despite having two young power-hitting first basemen in Kendrys Morales, who will miss this season because of an ankle injury, and Mark Trumbo, a rookie who leads the team with 13 home runs.
Cron traveled to Orange County on Monday morning, and he took early batting practice in Angel Stadium, spraying several home runs from left field to right-center, including one that cleared both bullpens beyond the left-field fence.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: C.J. Cron. Credit: Bob Levey / Getty Images