Cron brothers, 3 others get drafted by MLB teams - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Cron brothers, 3 others get drafted by MLB teams

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Posted: Friday, June 10, 2011 4:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 pm, Wed Oct 10, 2012.

History wasn't made by the Cron family when Major League Baseball's first-year player draft started, but it didn't take away from a great couple of days for the Ahwatukee Foothills residents.

They were hoping to become just the second family to have two brothers drafted in the first round, matching the Drew brothers from 1997, but it didn't come to fruition.

C.J. Cron, a 2008 Mountain Pointe graduate, was taken with the 17th overall pick Monday by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but Kevin, a June graduate, had to wait until the third round on Tuesday when he was picked 92nd overall by the Seattle Mariners.

"I knew it was going to happen eventually," Kevin Cron said about waiting through the second round before seeing his named called on the Internet. "I'm glad it is Seattle. It's a great organization and we will see where it goes from here."

The family still had to pull off a rare feat when you add in the fact that their father, Chris, was taken in the second round of the 1982 draft by the Atlanta Braves.

The Drews, including current Diamondback Stephen, ended up having three first-rounders (J.D. and Tim) but not too many others can say they have had three members taken in the first three rounds.

"This is the most satisfying feeling I have ever had as a father," Chris said Monday.

Other local players to get their names called were Mountain Pointe senior Jordan Kipper (Dodgers, 39th round), Desert Vista senior Casey Thomas (Dodgers, 41st round) and Mountain Pointe product J.J. Ethel (Dodgers, 49th round) after his senior year as a catcher at Louisville.

Monday's draft party celebration for the Crons at The BAR Fitness was something to behold.

Twenty-seven years after finding out that he was drafted by telegram, Chris Cron watched in sheer amazement as C.J. was selected by the Angels and they found out instantly.

"When I saw the Angels (emblem) on TV I told my buddy this is the team that I really wanted him to go to," the proud father said a few minutes after watching MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announce it live on television.

"With all of the people I know in that organization and as good of an organization as it is, it is a great situation."

When C.J. Cron, a University of Utah junior, had his name picked by the Angels the draft party went berserk.

"It really hasn't settled in yet," C.J. Cron said at the time. "I just heard my name and everyone went crazy."

The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder is a slugging first baseman who took off his sophomore year at Utah after getting rid of a leg kick and dropping his hands in his stance.

He feels the change was the impetus to this day happening, but there seems to be a bit of fate involved when zooming out and looking at the big picture.

Chris, who was selected in the second round in 1982 by Atlanta and his made his major league debut with the Angels, is a Double-A manager for the Detroit Tigers organization. The team just happened to have the day off on Monday so he flew in and surprised the family by making it home, showing up while they were having lunch with Chris' mother, Connie, at Sweet Tomatoes.

Throw in the fact that C.J., 21, was taken by the team that his dad made his major league debut with and one that just happens to train in Arizona and plays its regular season games within driving distance, and there might not have been a better fit.

Coincidence, fate or dumb luck - it just doesn't matter to Linda Cron.

"What a great day for the family and he gets to have spring training here," said the proud mother. "We are just elated and so very happy that we will be able to see him a lot."

C.J.'s development has been rapid considering he was taken in the 44th round (1,320th overall) in 2008 by the Chicago White Sox coming out of Mountain Pointe when he hit .421 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs.

"I wasn't an attractive pick to scouts back then," said Cron, whose father was coaching in the White Sox organization in 2008. "I knew I had some work to do. Then after my sophomore year (at Utah) people were talking about me being a first-round pick and I just wanted to live up to it."

After hitting .337 with 19 doubles, 11 home runs and 58 RBIs as a freshman for Utah to be named a second-team freshman All-American, Cron improved to .431 with 20 home runs and 81 RBIs as a sophomore to be named an All-American.

It all came together when he made the adjustments at the plate.

"We butted heads because we are exactly alike and I wanted him to make that change four years earlier," Chris joked. "But he couldn't do it until he believed it himself. Once he called me and told he me he was thinking about doing it I knew he'd become a different player."

Cron followed it up with a junior year that kept him on the first-round radar when he hit .434 with 15 home runs and 59 RBIs.

"I just can't wait to get that chance to go out and play professionally," C.J. said. "I've been around it a long time because of my dad and now I am about to get that opportunity as well. It's amazing."

Cron stands to become a millionaire once he signs.

He's represented by former major league pitcher Scott Sanderson, who will probably use last year's 17th overall pick - Josh Sale of Tampa Bay and his $1.62 million signing bonus - as a comparison even though Sale was a high school outfielder with a college commitment to Gonzaga.

No matter how it plays out, Cron wasn't concerned with all of his family and friends hanging out at The BAR.

"I don't care about it and I am not even thinking (about the money)," he said. "I'll let my representation take care of that and hopefully it wraps up pretty quickly."

Kevin had to wait a day but the family, minus Chris who had to fly to Pennsylvania to manage his team, returned to The BAR Fitness and they were just as elated.

Kevin has more of a decision to make as he weighs the options of going pro or heading off to Texas Christian to get an education and possibly improve his draft status over the next three years.

He leaves Arizona as one of the best hitters the state has seen after hitting .560 with a state-record 27 home runs and 65 RBIs. Cron also holds the state record for career home runs with 60.

"It's been an incredible journey for our family," said Kevin, who talked to his dad soon after he was drafted. "I don't know how to explain it. Baseball has always been a huge part of our lives and will continue to be no matter where we end up."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com

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