Pete Crow-Armstrong Explains ‘What Cubbie Baseball Should Look Like’
Pete Crow-Armstrong didn’t waste much time climbing to the top of the Cubs’ prospect list following a deadline trade that saw him come over from the Mets in exchange for one of Chicago’s most recognizable stars. It’s a bit hasty to say that a 21-year-old (next month) without a plate appearance above High-A is ready to make fans forget about Ednel Javier Báez, but PCA seems to be doing and saying all the right things so far.
After a season in which he displayed unexpected power to go along with the defensive prowess born of a combination of god-tier kinesthetic awareness, the young man with the best glove in the minors was invited to big league camp. Long gone are the days of Sammy Sosa, so Crow-Armstrong and most of the rest of the team arrived well ahead of the mandatory report day of February 20.
As the Cubs look to build their next contender, camaraderie is going to play a huge role. Players want to be in camp early, they want to hang out together off the field, and, most importantly, they want to get better.
“I want to take every little tidbit of information I can get,” Crow-Armstrong told Jordan Bastian in Mesa. “I’d be foolish if I wasn’t here to learn. I think it’d be a big waste of my time if I didn’t use it the right way.”
More than just soaking in everything he can from established big leaguers, this spring will be about Crow-Armstrong becoming more of a leader among his peers. Complementing his preternatural physical skill is a maturity that belies his youth and should allow him to remain comfortable as the stages on which he plays grow ever larger. No surprise coming from the child of actors whose mother, Ashley Crow, played the lead character’s mom in Little Big League.
As trite as it sounds, Crow-Armstrong just gets it. Like, he truly seems to be exceedingly confident in his own skin, his role as an individual baseball player, and his standing within the organization. He understands that he can help to define the Cubs’ identity in the future, but he knows who’s currently serving as the dictionary.
“Nico Hoerner, I think the best way to describe the Cubs in a player, it’s him,” Crow-Armstrong said. “The guy hits. He’s going to be one of the better players at his position for years to come. And if you to ask, like, what kind of style of baseball do the Cubs play, you’d say, ‘Go watch our shortstop and second baseman.’ I think it’s as simple as that.
“You go watch Dansby or Nico Hoerner and it’s like, ‘All right, yeah, that’s what Cubbie baseball should look like.’ They’re great people to look up to.”
I totally understand if you’re not super psyched about the team’s present, even when the days are getting longer and camp is about to open, but it’s really tough to come away from any interaction with PCA feeling down about the future. Unless you have made pessimism your personality, in which case I wish you good luck with that.