Slugging first baseman Kevin Cron — the Reno Aces all-time home run leader — has left the show.
Cron, 27, was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Oct. 30 after mustering a .170 career batting average in 88 big league at-bats. Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reported that Cron is expected to play overseas after the Diamondbacks sold his rights to a team in Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan’s top league.
Cron’s monstrous power he displayed in the minors did not come to fruition in the bigs. He had just six home runs and struck out 35 times. Optimism remained that Cron could take advantage of the National League designated hitter addition to the abbreviated 2020 season, but he struggled mightily and was optioned to the team’s alternate training site.
Cron couldn’t find his rhythm in Arizona, but his two seasons with Reno filled the record books. He is first in Aces franchise history with homers (60), third in RBIs (199) and sixth in walks (97). Cron’s historic 2019 campaign led to his eventual MLB debut with the Diamondbacks.
As a farewell to one of the most memorable players in franchise history, let’s reflect on some of Cron’s greatest moments in an Aces uniform.
May 10, 2018: Cron hits first Aces home run
Cron launched his first of many homers for the Aces against the Albuquerque Isotopes, going 1-for-4 with two RBIs. He finished the 2018 season batting .309 with 22 homers and 97 RBIs in 82 games with Reno.
At the end of the 2018 season, Cron and former teammate Ildemaro Vargas earned All-Pacific Coast League honors.
April 25, 2019: Cron, Locastro belt three homers each
Cron and former teammate Tim Locastro homered three times each for the first time in Aces history in a 15-5 drubbing of the Fresno Grizzlies.
Locastro, the lead-off hitter, and Cron homered in the first and second innings. Cron launched his third in the fourth inning. Locastro hit a grand slam in the fifth. Cron finished the night going 3-for-4 with a career-high seven RBIs.
May 24, 2019: Cron earns first MLB promotion
Following his offensive tear with the Aces, Cron received his first call-up to the majors from his father and manager, Chris Cron.
“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,” Cron told Nick Piecorro of The Arizona Republic.
During his short stay with the Diamondbacks, Cron posted a .211 batting average with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 39 games. He hit his first career homer on June 7, a three-run shot against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.
Cron was optioned back-and-forth between Reno and Arizona, but he kept launching eye-popping blasts with the Aces.
August 11, 2019: Cron breaks Aces single-season home run record
Cron’s 33rd home run of the year against the Oklahoma City Dodgers broke Reno’s single-season record previously set by 2017 PCL MVP Christian Walker. He drove-in his 90th run of the season as the accolades continued to pile up.
Two days later, Cron reached another milestone in the same series.
August 13, 2019: Cron becomes Aces all-time home run king
After setting the single-season record, Cron went 3-for-5 with three home runs to clinch the Aces’ all-time home runs record of 58 in 172 games.
Cron finished his torrid 2019 season batting .329/.446/.777 with 39 home runs, 20 doubles and 107 RBIs. He earned a mid-season PCL All-Star selection with Reno and was named to Baseball America’s Triple-A All-Star team.
Overall, Cron had several memorable moments with the Aces. His tenure in the big leagues with the Diamondbacks came to unfortunate terms, but his time at Greater Nevada Field was must-see each plate appearance.
— Isaiah Burrows