Mountain Pointe’s Cron may join brother in MLB draft

Kevin Cron and his older brother, C.J., may pull off a rare feat in professional sports when the Major League Baseball draft rolls around next month.

Both are expected to be taken in the same draft.

Kevin is a senior at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix and C.J. is a junior at the University of Utah.  Both are among the best hitters in the country at their respective levels.

C.J. is a likely first-round draft selection, but Kevin’s name is probably more recognizable to baseball fans in Arizona.  He holds the state high school records for most home runs in a season (24) and most in a career, 57 so far.

But first, the 6’5″ catcher/pitcher has his eye on one last accomplishment before he leaves the high school game.  He wants to finish what Mountain Pointe almost accomplished last year when they lost out on the state 5A-I title by dropping the championship game to Desert Ridge HS, 11-4.  The goal is to bring Mountain Pointe its first-ever state title in baseball.

This year The Pride are favored to get back to the title game, and likely win it.

Brophy Prep may have removed the biggest obstacle to achieving that goal when the small Catholic school in Phoenix knocked off No. 1 seed, Mesquite High School in Gilbert.  Mesquite has been the top team in 5A for most of the season and had lost just three games before the 9th-seeded Broncos shocked the Wildcats by pulling out the win in the final inning of Tuesday’s second-round game in Pool A.

John Rapisarda and Dan Winkler singled for Brophy in the top of the seventh inning, after Mesquite had already pocketed two outs, and wrapped up the 5-3 upset that sent Mesquite to the elimination rounds.

Meanwhile, Mountain Pointe has rolled through their first two gamed in the state tournament Pool B, beating 15-seed Maryvale HS, 12-2, and then taking just five innings to run-rule No. 7 Salpointe Catholic.  They piled up 18 hits to beat the Lancers, 17-7.

Cron contributed three RBIs in the win over Salpointe, to help set up a Saturday meeting with No. 6 Gilbert in the semi-finals.

Much of the publicity has gone to Cron this year, and for good reason.  He is batting .578, with 62 RBIs over 29 games.

And one other statistic that says volumes about his ability… he has struck out just three times all year.

But The Pride has been an offensive machine because the whole line-up hits the ball well.  Against Salpointe, the first six up in the batting order hit safely in just the first inning and five players finished with multiple hits.  Jordan Kipper went 4-for-4 at the plate, scoring three of the runs himself and batting in three more – and he’s the pitcher!

Mountain Pointe set its own state record as a team, in fact.  The Pride have put 82 home runs on the board so far, setting a single-season record, and still have innings yet to be played.

Cron comes by his talent naturally.  His brother leads the nation in hitting at the collegiate level, with a .469 batting average.  Like his little brother, he also hits for power.  C.J. is one of the country’s leaders in home runs, slugging percentage, and RBIs.  He has hit in all but one game this season

Their dad, Chris, played briefly in the major leagues and currently directs the Detroit Tigers’ Class AA team in Pennsylvania.  The brothers developed their sweet swings under his tutelage, beginning at young ages.

C.J. was offered a scholarship to Arizona State, but opted for the Utes instead to get a change of scenery.  Kevin, too, will be playing out of state.  He has accepted an offer from Texas Christian.

But first there’s the little matter of a state baseball title for Kevin.

And then we’ll see what happens in the draft.