When CJ Cron came out of the University of Utah in 2011, many believed he would be the best player to come out of the Utah Utes Baseball program. So far, he is proving all of his supporters might be right -- as he went 3-for-5 in his Major League Baseball debut on Saturday, May 3.
Cron, who was the Angels first round pick out of the University of Utah in 2011, has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the big leagues. Starting his career in Orem where he hit 13 home runs and 41 RBI, the former Ute was fortunate enough to enjoy himself at a number of his minor league stops.
His big numbers in Orem earned him a call-up to Inland Empire of the A-League, at which he smashed 27 homers and 123 RBI to really gain the Angels’ attention. The next year found him at AA Arkansas where his numbers suffered a bit but were still solid, as he batted .274 with 14 home runs.
Fast forward to this year with the Salt Lake Bees, where Cron finally earned his big league moment. After hitting six home runs with 26 RBI in just 28 games for the Bees -- at the field where he played his college ball, as a matter of fact -- Cron was called up to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the rest as they say, is history.
Cron was 3-for-5 on Saturday night against the Texas Rangers, starting at first base for the Angels. He had two RBI -- including the go-ahead run in the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-3 win. Cron also became just the fourth player in Angels history to have three hits in his big league debut.
Cron tweeted out how grateful he was to have his fans support him after his big game on Saturday. If Saturday was any indication, there will be lots more from whence his big batting display came.
“First big league hit/RBI! Thank you everyone for the support, it means a lot!” Cron tweeted from his account Saturday night, which also included an Instagram of the ball with which he got his first Major League hit.
The ball itself looked a bit worn, much like Cron’s incredible three-year journey to the big leagues. Considering he was once a talented catcher and utility player at the University of Utah, it was a great way to watch Cron come full circle on Saturday night. The moment gave current and former Ute players hope that they too might someday make it to the big time.