Despite a sudden run of solid baseball that has seen them win four straight series, the Cubs are focused pretty firmly on the horizon. One of the shining lights out there in the distance is outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, who was pried away from the Mets in exchange for Javier Baez and Trevor Williams at last year’s deadline. Touted for his elite glove in center, the (at the time) 19-year-old was only available because his season had been cut short by shoulder surgery.
As soon as he recovered, the Cubs got to work maximizing his swing in order to help him “do damage” and take full advantage of his athleticism. The results have been better than just about anyone expected, with Crow-Armstrong creating a buzz at spring training that hasn’t subsided during his time at Myrtle Beach and South Bend.
Even though he’s still adjusting at the plate following his promotion to High-A, his defense alone is strong enough to carry him to the majors. I can say without any trace of hyperbole that Crow-Armstrong would be in the Gold Glove conversation if he played center on an everyday basis at the MLB level. That said, the organization is in no rush to fast-track him at the risk of his offensive development.
Currently ranked No. 3 among the Cubs’ top prospects by MLB.com, PCA is getting plenty of attention beyond blogs like ours. He’s going to get even more if he can show out on a national stage when he participates in the Futures Game at this year’s All-Star festivities.
“That will be another fun little adventure,” Crow-Armstrong told WGN’s Josh Frydman. “I’ll have my family there, that’s the biggest thing that matters to me. I’ll have buddies flying in for the night, it means a lot.”
The Sherman Oaks native will be back home for the game, which might give him an extra boost of confidence as he looks to live up to the example set by another Cubs prospect in 2021.
“I’ll give it what I’ve got and hopefully I’ll be able to do something close to what Brennen [Davis] did last year,” Crow-Armstrong said, referencing his future teammate’s MVP performance that featured two home runs. “It was something I was working for this year, and it was nice to see a checkpoint hit.”
Okay, so Crow-Armstrong probably isn’t going to go yard twice at Dodger Stadium and he may not get the resultant helium Davis experienced following his display in Denver. But neither hitting a pair of dingers nor going 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts is going to change his trajectory within the organization, so my only hope for him is that he uses this experience as a way to boost his confidence and affirm his progress.
You can catch the Futures Game, which is scheduled for seven innings, on July 18 at 6pm CT exclusively on Peacock and SiriusXM.