Detroit Free Press
As he grew up, CJ watched Cron Detroit Tigers beat Miguel Cabrera from a distance.
He then joined the from 2014 to 2019 los Angeles Angel, Tampa Bay Rays and twins. This year he is a teammate of the eleven-time All-Star and double American League MVP.
“He’s a really good, really good leader for young people,” said 30-year-old Cron in a video conference on Tuesday.
Despite his recent injuries and tiger battles, this has been a frequent refrain for Cabrera’s teammates over the years. Even Cron, who is in his seventh MLB season and is seven years younger than Cabrera, is soaking up as much as he can.
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“It’s hard to do what a guy of this caliber does,” said Cron. “This will be a first-choice Hall of Famer, and I don’t know if I will be able to try to do exactly what he does.”
Cron may not have Cabrera’s natural abilities. But his inclusion in the lineup should give the Tigers an extra helping of right-handed strength in the upcoming 60-game season.
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In 140 games for the Rays in 2018, Cron had 30 home runs and 74 RBIs with a punch average of 0.253. He had another 17 Homer and 54 RBIs for the Twins at last season’s All Star break before an excruciating thumb surgery surgery reduced his second half to 47 games.
Cron’s Power performed at the Tigers in spring training this year when he slashed .346 / .452 / .731 (with a double, three homers, and five RBIs) in 12 games.
He made it his business to watch how opposing pitchers deal with Cabrera, who is healthier after dealing with an injured knee last season, especially in hitter-friendly counts this spring. The former AL Triple Crown winner hit .45 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
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“Whether they’re trying to take advantage of off-speed or whether they’re going to challenge,” said Cron. “Just things like that. I can do all of this from the deck circle. He was great. Watching him go about his business was great.”
Since signing a $ 6.1 million one-year contract with the Tigers in December, Cron has taken a page out of Cabrera’s book to help younger players enjoy every moment, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I remember when I was young,” he said. “You’re always busy. You don’t want to mess around too much. You don’t want to do anything wrong.
“And I think older people who are only there and make the clubhouse loose are a long way.”
Cron has the attitude – an experienced leader who is willing to learn but always willing to teach.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
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Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.