Cubs Prospects: Pete Crow-Armstrong is turning heads in spring training

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

A guy certainly has the makings of something special, especially when he has all of six professional games under his belt and is still a top five organizational prospect. Cubs outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong is looking to put an injury-shortened 2021 behind him with his new organization and, so far, he’s checking all the boxes.

"“I think the biggest difference with Pete this year,” Justin Stone, Cubs’ director of hitting, told recently, “is he might have the biggest exit velocity jump of anyone we have in camp. He’s just way more physical. He’s healthy. That’s going to make a big difference.”"

Last season, Crow-Armstrong saw his first taste of Minor League Baseball last all of a week after the Mets took him in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft. Playing with Class-A Port St. Lucie, he slid into third base and wound up doing all kinds of damage to his shoulder – ending his season before it even got going.

Still, what he did in that week on the field caught folks’ attention. He batted .417/.563/.500, drawing seven walks to his six strikeouts, and showcasing intense natural abilities in the outfield. Scouting reports peg him as a future Gold Glove center fielder, which is something the Cubs have needed for quite some time.

The glove, Chicago already knew, was an asset in Crow-Armstrong’s arsenal. Making sure his bat continued to progress, though, has been a major focus for the club – with the outfielder working with Rachel Folden, the team’s Minor League hitting coach, even prior to getting back on the field.

That’s meant conversations, and, now, drills, focused on improving his offensive profile heading into what will be his first full season in professional ball.

"“He’s very open,” said Folden, “He’s obviously a high-level prospect, has a lot of eyeballs on him, probably made some pretty good money at this point. So, for him to just be so open, like, ‘Hey, whatever it takes to get me to the big leagues, let’s go.’… And then, just his determination and work ethic, it’s pretty special.”"

When you take a look at the Cubs’ prospects rankings heading into 2022, it’s clear there’s potential for a pretty special group of outfielders to spearhead the next run on the North Side. Along with Crow-Armstrong, you’ve got top overall prospect Brennen Davis, along with the likes of  Kevin Alcantara, Owen Caissie and Yohendrick Pinango among the Cubs’ Baseball America top 10.

Next. Sixto Sanchez makes for an intriguing trade target. dark

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Given he’s just 20 and lacks any substantive experience (the Mets drafted him straight out of high school two years ago) – Crow-Armstrong likely won’t patrol the outfield at Wrigley Field for several years yet. Still, with the eye on the future, he has all the makings of a key piece to the puzzle down the road.