It’s never too early in the offseason for positive health developments. One of the Chicago Cubs’ key prospect acquisitions from the 2021 trade deadline, Pete Crow-Armstrong, is back taking swings in the batting cage.
Crow-Armstrong was the 19th overall pick by the New York Mets in the 2020 MLB Draft. The Cubs acquired him in a trade that sent Javy Baez, Trevor Williams, and cash to the Mets.
In May of this year, Crow-Armstrong underwent shoulder surgery on his non-throwing arm. Seeing him back in the cage is a good sign that he will be ready to play when team activities begin in the Spring. From there, to which level the Cubs will decide to assign him is unknown. However, he will turn just 20 years old in March, so he has plenty of time to develop and take things slow.
Currently, Crow-Armstrong is the Cubs’ fifth-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The Cubs have desperately searched for a consistent centerfielder since Dexter Fowler departed at the end of 2016. At this point in time, the power in his bat is a question mark, but many scouts have praised his bat-to-ball skills and line-drive ability.
Where Pete Crow-Armstrong really excels is with the leather. He has a 65 future grade as a fielder with above-average strength. The 19-year-old makes exceptional reads and uses his speed to track down almost everything. Basically, he has Gold Glove future upside with an above-average fielding floor. Thinking about what he could become if the Cubs can develop his bat and create more power gets me pumped.
However, one step at a time. Getting back to playing was the first priority. This is a positive first step.