PEORIA, Ariz. -- C.J. Cron didn't leave big league camp without making a lasting impression.
The 24-year-old right-handed power hitter, ranked second in the Angels' system by MLB.com and set to begin his first season at Triple-A Salt Lake, batted .400 (6-for-15) in Cactus League play, with a homer and six RBIs, and continued to improve his strike-zone awareness.
"Not just this spring, but if you look at his growth from the middle part of last year through the [Arizona] Fall League, and what he showed this spring, there's no doubt that he's starting to develop into the hitter everyone projected," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hopefully, as he continues to refine some stuff and get that practical experience of being at a higher level, it's going to move him onto our depth chart."
Defensively, Scioscia said Cron was "much improved" at first base, particularly because he had fully recovered from the knee surgery he was coming off of in 2012 and the shoulder surgery he was recovering from in 2013. And though Scioscia did not want to speculate, Cron could come up later this season to serve as a platoon designated hitter alongside the left-handed-hitting Raul Ibanez.
The easy Cron comparison is Mark Trumbo, a big right-handed hitter with defensive limitations of his own.
But Scioscia disagrees.
"It's tough to compare anyone to Trumbo, because Trumbo is in a class of his own," Scioscia said. "But this kid has power to all fields. Maybe not the raw power of Trumbo, who can hit the ball farther than anybody we've seen since Vlad Guerrero. But C.J. Cron has legitimate power to all fields, which is going to be very functional for him."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.