If Kevin Cron sees a baseball anywhere around the plate, he probably threw it.
Over the past couple of seasons the Mountain Pointe junior has established a reputation as a powerful slugger who can hit for average.
Last season the 6-foot-4, 245-pound catcher, pitcher and first baseman hit a team-high 11 home runs, drove in 33 runs and had a .374 batting average.
That means if Cron sees a pitch down the middle of the plate it was probably a mistake.
“I’ll maybe see one good pitch in an at-bat, and I have to jump on it because I might not get another one,” Cron said.
He is a Little League and club ball veteran who follows his brother, Kevin, now starting at the University of Utah, into the Pride baseball program.
“Obviously the more you play the better you should get,” he said. “But nothing really changes. It’s still the same game throughout your entire career. You just have to adjust to the different levels.”
Cron will spend most of the season behind the plate, but he has taken that strong arm to the mound for the Pride, too.
“I just throw hard and let my defense help me out,” he said.
But catching is where he feels most comfortable.
“I love catching,” Cron said. “I get to be in control of the game, and I’m always involved. It keeps your head in the game all the time and you get to lead the team. I like that.”
Mountain Pointe coach Brandon Buck concedes, even as a junior, Cron is a leader.
“He’s very humble, but he’s a great leader,” Buck said. “He puts in the effort and when you have a kid work that hard you get the other guys to demand more of themselves, too.”
Although he shares time behind the plate with senior Avery Konieczny, Buck said Cron is his catcher.
“He’s our guy,” Buck said. “But as a pitcher he throws the ball well, too, and can hit the spots. If we could figure out a way from him to do both at the same time we’d be all right.”
The Pride can’t afford to have Cron’s bat out of the lineup.
“If there is a better hitter out there right now I’d like to see him,” Buck said.
But Konieczny has a productive bat as well.
“We’re trying to find a place for him, maybe in the outfield, but someplace,” Buck said. “It’s a nice problem to have.”