2024 Spring Training Chicago Cubs' Top Prospects (#5-1)

The Chicago Cubs top five prospects all have the potential to be future all-stars and top ten prospects in the game of baseball. At least one of them could do both of those things this season.

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Number 1 

Pete Crow-Armstrong OF

Age: 21

2023 Level(s): AA Tennessee, AAA Iowa

Joined the organization via: Javier Baez Trade with the New York Mets

2023 Stats: 500 PA, .283/.365/.511, 20 HR, 53 XBH, 37/47 SB, 82 RBI, 98 R

This may be the easiest number-one prospect the Cubs have had in some time. No disrespect to Cade Horton, Matt Shaw, or anyone else on this list, but Crow-Armstrong has been as advertised and then some. It would have been nice to see a better performance in the majors to end the season but I chalk that up to him pressing to prove he deserved playing time to a manager who was unwilling to get younger players in the lineup.

Crow-Armstrong is a player that the great teams have. He’s an excellent, potential Gold-Glove caliber defender at a premium position in center field. He’s got legitimate game-changing speed that will keep pitchers in their heads when he gets on base. He can hit for average as shown by his .283 batting average last season but he can also hit for power as proven by the 53 extra-base hits he put up and his .228 ISO. 

If the Cubs were to be incapable of re-signing Cody Bellinger then slotting Pete Crow-Armstrong in as the everyday center fielder would be a completely reasonable thing to do. Even if the Cubs do manage to re-sign Bellinger, it’s worth at least considering playing Bellinger at First Base (where he is a Gold Glove-caliber defender) to ensure that PCA gets the playing time he needs at his best position.

The best thing that could have happened for Crow-Armstrong’s development is the introduction of Craig Counsell as manager. Counsell has always managed to get the most out of the players on his roster, even when those players were leftovers from larger markets. Now, Counsell will have arguably the best prospect he’s ever gotten to manage available at his disposal and he will use him wisely.

The difference between Pete Crow-Armstrong and other prospects is that even if the bat goes cold he has the ability to truly alter the game in different ways. He could be in a slump but his willingness to draw a walk and his ability to be a pest on the base paths makes him valuable. Combine that with his excellence in the outfield and his floor as an everyday centerfielder on a division-winning team. His ceiling… well his ceiling is much higher than that.

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