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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Doug Cronk hit homers at Gastonia, but couldn't keep it up; Saw three seasons, made high-A

Doug Cronk tried to explain to The Charlotte Observer his home run success at single-A Gastonia in 1989, having just his 19th early that August after hitting just three in his first pro season the year before.

Cronk wondered if he just needed time to adjust to the wooden bats, or maybe the weights he'd lifted the previous offseason, he told The Observer.

"I'd always hoped to hit this many homers, but I wasn't sure I could after struggling last year," Cronk told The Observer.

Despite his success at Gastonia, Cronk couldn't keep it up. He'd hit just four the next year at high-A Port Charlotte. That also turned out to be his last year as a pro.

Cronk's career began in 1988, taken by the Rangers in the 22nd round of the draft out of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Cronk had hit .338 at Southern Miss, with 18 home runs. But he'd caught the eye of the Rangers scout before that, Cronk told The Fort Myers News-Press in July 1988.

"He told me Texas had been following me since high school," Cronk recalled to The News-Press of what the scout told him. "And he told me that I had gotten better each year and he wanted to give me a chance."

Cronk played his first season with the Rangers in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .221 over 62 games, with those three home runs.

He then moved to Gastonia for 1989. He hit .251 that year, with 22 total home runs in 133 games.

"Everything he's been seeing he's been hitting hard," teammate Trey McCoy told The Observer after a two-home run effort from Cronk that August. "He's been on a tear."

Cronk then moved to Port Charlotte. He saw 106 games there and hit .186 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,948
Made the Majors:1,317-33.4%
Never Made Majors:2,631-66.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:538
10+ Seasons in the Minors:328

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