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D-backs promote Minors HR leader Cron

@SteveGilbertMLB
May 25, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- Life can come at you fast in professional baseball. Just ask D-backs prospect Kevin Cron, who was called up from Triple-A Reno to the big leagues on Friday. “This is something I’ve dreamt about forever,” Cron said. “You don’t ever really expect it to happen, but once

SAN FRANCISCO -- Life can come at you fast in professional baseball. Just ask D-backs prospect Kevin Cron, who was called up from Triple-A Reno to the big leagues on Friday.

“This is something I’ve dreamt about forever,” Cron said. “You don’t ever really expect it to happen, but once it does, you’re like, ‘This is out of this world.’ Yesterday, I was waking up looking at the desert in El Paso, and last night I’m driving in, seeing exits for the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s pretty special. I’m excited to be here.”

Cron was called up along with utility man Tim Locastro. The D-backs had optioned reliever Jimmie Sherfy to Reno on Wednesday and they placed outfielder David Peralta on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder, retroactive to Wednesday.

D-backs GM Mike Hazen said that Cron was not called up to take over the first-base job from Christian Walker, nor is Cron expected to play third base or left field except in a pinch. For now, Cron will get the occasional start and serve as a pinch-hitter. Walker got Friday's start, but Cron took over at first in the bottom of the seventh. He struck out in the eighth in his only at-bat.

The team is hopeful that Peralta will be able to return on June 1, when his injured-list stint is up, or shortly after.

Cron, 26, has been crushing Pacific Coast League pitching this year, putting up a slash line of .339/.437/.800 with 21 homers.

Since 2015, he leads all Minor Leaguers (min. 1,600 plate appearances) in RBIs (435), extra-base hits (253) and total bases (1,064), but Cron really began opening eyes in the organization in 2017, when he began getting on base more often.

“He’s always had power,” Hazen said. “The transformation into a hitter has really blossomed with maturity.”

For Cron, the key was coming up with a routine and mindset and then sticking with it regardless of the day-to-day results.

“It must have been two or three years ago, I really committed myself to a singular approach and a singular way of going about my business, day in and day out,” Cron said. “I think the biggest thing for me has just been the consistency and the way I’m thinking about going about my business, the way I go about my approach, my day-to-day stuff. At some point, it just becomes your normal.

"In this game, there is a lot of failure, and your ability to handle failure and make those failures a smaller window is a really big part of it.”

Baseball is a family affair for Cron, who was selected by the D-backs in the 14th round of the 2014 Draft. His brother, C.J. Cron, is an infielder for the Twins, and his dad, Chris Cron, played in the big leagues from 1991-92 and was Kevin’s manager with Reno.

In fact, it was Chris who got to give Kevin the news that he was headed to the big leagues for the first time.

Chris had hoped to be able to break the news in a creative way, but time was of the essence, as Kevin had to be on a flight to the Bay Area in just over an hour, so he went up to his hotel room.

“He came in, first words he said were, ‘Let’s go, start packing, let’s go,’” Kevin said. “Gave him a big hug, starting crying a little bit. Five minutes later I’m out the door with my suitcase, clothes unfolded, thrown in the bag, it was awesome. I ran it through my head hundreds of times growing up about how it would happen, and none of those hundred ever included my dad being the one to tell me. Something very special for both of us, for sure.”

Big brother is rooting for him and ready if he needs any advice.

"He's got a good head on his shoulders,” C.J. said. “He kind of knows what to expect, always being in the locker room as little kids with my dad. I think he kind of knows what to expect, but if he has any questions, he knows I'm there for him. I'm going to let him live it up like I did, and I'm super happy for him."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Thomas Harrigan is a reporter for MLB.com.