Pete Crow-Armstrong Becomes Third Cubs Prospects to Crack’s Top 100 List

Pete Crow-Armstrong has been menacing the Carolina League for the last several weeks, blasting six homers to go with his .372 batting average. It gets even better when you consider that his bat was only expected to be an afterthought, with his elite defense and plus speed making him a glove-first centerfielder. The addition of power has put Armstrong on the map in his first full professional season and national evaluators are taking notice.

When the MLB Pipeline top 100 rankings updated Monday, Crow-Armstrong entered the list at No. 97 to join Brennan Davis (No. 16) and Cristian Hernandez (No. 85). The Cubs aren’t rushing the 19th overall pick from the 2020 draft because he just turned 20 in late March, but he should make his way to South Bend before long. He may be on a fast track moving forward, however, as his primary tools will play at higher levels even as the bat continues to develop.

Please don’t take that to mean I’m suggesting the Cubs overlook the possibility that he’ll continue to show off plus-plus offensive production, only that he clearly possesses other MLB-ready skills. What’s more, I believe what makes PCA such a tremendous defensive player will help his continued growth as a hitter.

He’s worked diligently to develop his kinesthetic feel, which is a sense of body positioning, in order to create the ultimate trust in his hands. That same physical awareness and control can be applied to hitting, just with a bat instead of a glove. The way he’s able to adjust to various pitches and create that easy power is reminiscent of going out and pulling back a would-be home run.

I fully believe Crow-Armstrong will continue to rise through both prospect rankings and the Cubs system at a faster rate than initially believed as a result of both his skillset and his understanding of it. If that last part sounds a little strange, consider how many superior athletes — particularly baseball players — don’t truly know how to tap into and harness their talent right away.

You see a lot of younger players who get by in the early going because they’re just better than everyone else, but they run into trouble when they start facing guys who know how to play. Crow-Armstrong is the type of player who I think might continue to get better, or at least be somewhat immune to the normal adjustments to each new level of baseball.

Either way, these first several weeks sure have been fun.

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