Chicago Cubs: Top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong's defensive outlook

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MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis included top Chicago Cubs' top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong on his top-10 outfield prospects for 2023. Cubs fans are buzzing over the 80-grade rating given to him, which is attributed to his extraordinary ability to cover ground in the outfield with great speed and the ability to run effective routes. Callis also mentioned Crow-Armstrong's arm strength, which he puts "rates better than most players at his position."

Those who watched him play in the Cubs system in 2022 got to see what he is capable of defensively. He was said to have "Gold Glove potential" per scouts when he was drafted by the Mets in the first round of the 2020 draft. He certainly has displayed Gold Glove potential in MiLB play so far, making several highlight-reel catches showing off his ability to move fast and cover a lot of ground.

Crow-Armstrong's defensive abilities alone make him a potentially great fit for the Cubs' future. Jed Hoyer has spent the past year building an organization that values runs prevention. Rebuilding the organization's pitching infrastructure by acquiring young arms has been part of that process, as has to assemble a team with plus defenders. If Crow-Armstrong is indeed the future center fielder for the Cubs, he will be an essential part of that run-prevention model. As he spends 2023 continuing to grow, the Cubs should have a nice defensive center field bridge in Cody Bellinger

He does not seem to fear the future challenge of manning a windy, sunny and seagull-filled Wrigley Field centerfield...surrounded by brick walls. Baseball America quoted the Cubs top prospect saying, "I want to catch everything, if there is a wall there I'm going to climb or run through it."

dark. Next. Pete Crow-Armstrong considered among top OF prospects

The Cubs have had some solid defenders in center field over the years, but Crow-Armstrong looks like he can be on another level. Defensive value is a major factor in a position player's overall value these days, and if Crow-Armstrong can be an elite defender and offensive force, he can be the next face of the franchise. One step at a time, though.