Pete Crow-Armstrong is the best prospect in the Cubs system as far as we were concerned when we ranked our top prospects earlier this month. That being said, while he was number one on our list, MLB Pipeline has him as just their eighth-best outfield prospect with four 2023 draftees ranked ahead of him.
We’ve looked very favorably on MLB Pipeline’s rankings of prospects so far this offseason as the Cubs have had a player on every list except for one. However, the last two days of disrespect cannot be overlooked as the 2023 Cubs first-round pick, Matt Shaw was left off of the shortstop list altogether and now Crow-Armstrong has fallen down the outfield rankings comparatively to where he’s been in years past.
When we wrote up Crow-Armstrong earlier this month we said:
"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 basepaths makes him valuable. Combine that with his excellence in the outfield and his floor is an everyday centerfielder on a division-winning team. His ceiling… well his ceiling is much higher than that. "- Cubbies Crib
I have a hard time looking at an outfielder who was drafted out of high school and put up .224/.383/.377 slash line across Rookie Ball and Low-A and hoping for him to have a higher ceiling than a player that hit .283/.365/.511 with 20 HR, 53 XBH, and 37 stolen bases while playing Gold Glove-caliber center field.
I do not want to denigrate another prospect, but in all seriousness, the season put together by Pete Crow-Armstrong last year combined with his proximity to the majors makes it legitimately insane to me to not have him in the top three (if not number one) outfield prospect in all of baseball.
So to that end, let’s hope he goes out and proves everyone wrong with a hot start to 2024 at Wrigley Field.