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2011 MLB Draft: Utah First Baseman C.J. Cron Selected 17th Overall by the Los Angeles Angels

Links to experts' analysis will be updated here as they come in UPDATE: SBnation's own John Sickels weighs in on the Cron pick UPDATE: Baseball America's take: Power numbers are way down in college baseball this year because of less-potent bats, but don't tell that to Cron, who hit .444/.522/.829 with 15 home runs in 187 regular-season at-bats for Utah. His father Chris played in the big leagues and has managed in the minor leagues since 1995, so C.J. has grown up around the game. He has come through the amateur ranks as a catcher, but he's just serviceable behind the plate and has not played there this season because of an injury to his throwing shoulder and his days as a catcher may be over. He doesn't move well at first base and is a bottom-of-the-scale runner, but that's all right because he's the best all-around hitter in the country and should have no problem producing the numbers teams expect from a first baseman. Cron has the unique combination of pure hitting ability and power. He projects to be an above-average hitter and has legitimate 80 raw power on the 20-80 scale that translates into at least above-average usable power. He has great hand-eye coordination and the strength in his hands to drive good pitches for singles and doubles. He uses a good approach at the plate and makes adjustments well, so he should move quickly through a team's system. UPDATE: Marc Hulet from Fangraphs.com: Cron has perhaps the best power in the entire draft and could even hit for average. Unfortunately, he's a bat-only player and doesn't field or run well. ... Despite spending time behind the plate in college, he'll move to first base in pro ball. His brother Kevin Cron is draft eligible as a high school senior and could get popped in the first five rounds if teams think he's signable. UPDATE: MLB.com's take: There's no question the University of Utah slugger understands the game, with a father managing in the Detroit Tigers system, a cousin in Chad Moeller, the former big league catcher, and even a younger brother who's a high school prospect committed to TCU. There's also no question Cron can flat-out hit the baseball. He should hit for average and power, with the ability to hit with authority to all fields. He doesn't have plus bat speed, but with terrific plate discipline and a natural feel for hitting, he's going to be a productive offensive player. He's caught and played first base at Utah, and nearly everyone thinks he'll be playing that infield corner as a professional. He's not one who has to catch to have value. His bat will be just fine at first and should be more than enough to get him off the board fairly early. They also have an advanced scouting report here.

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