What to Expect for Cubs Top Prospect

Cubs Top Prospect

The Chicago Cubs look to be prepared to hand over the Starting Center Field job to Pete Crow-Armstrong this upcoming season. Pete Crow-Armstrong was part of the trade that sent Javier Baez and Trevor Williams to the Mets in the summer of 2021. Cody Bellinger is looking to leave and sign a large multi-year contract after a terrific 2023 in free agency has cleared the way for PCA to a permanent role with the Cubs in 2024. Scouts have given the Propsect the following “Grades” Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 80 | Overall: 60, for what it’s worth.

Crow-Armstrong was called up late last season and played in 13 games for the Senior Club, getting 14 AB. He failed to register a hit with the big club but Walked three times, scored three times, stole two bases, and had one RBI during that time; the 21-year-old outfielder is a left-handed bat who, early in the minors, was recognized for his smooth swing that was able to scorch line drives to all fields. Throughout the last few seasons in the minors, the team has helped Crow-Armstrong with his swing, making minor adjustments allowing him to make harder contact while also lifting the ball more, which the team believes could lead to a potential 20 home run a season hitter if he can get his aggressive approach harnessed. While making these tweaks, his strikeouts increased significantly, rising by five times his typical average, which could also be attributed to moving up the ranks and facing more formidable pitching.

So, what do I expect from PCA this upcoming season? Well, as hard as it may be to believe, I believe we see better defense in Centerfield than we experienced last season with Bellinger roaming the outfield. That is saying a lot, considering Cody was a terrific fielder the previous season. The defensive side of things for PCA is, by far, his strength, with outstanding speed and arm strength as a plus, which will be a bonus from the speedster who seems to always get an amazing jump on the ball and always takes the correct angle to the ball. I could easily see Pete, a rookie, being considered for a gold glove at the end of next season. How about with the bat? Well, I think he has the tools to sit atop the order, setting the table for the likes of Swanson and Seiya Suzuki, but more likely, new head coach Craig Counsell will allow him time near the bottom of the order to gain confidence and get his feet under him at the plate. Just looking at his stats from the 13 games/14 plate appearances last year, you can see when he gets on base, he has a great chance to turn that into a run (three walks, two steals, and three runs). Here is my projected stat line for the 21-year-old: 435 Plate Appearances/395 At bats/56 runs/13 HR/49 RBIs/18 Doubles/4 Triples/19 SB/.247 Batting Average. I see Mike Tauchman and Christopher Morel getting some reps spelling PCA in center throughout the season. The stats are modest, and I believe his second half will be stronger than his first. If he can keep his strikeouts down and regain the plate discipline, I could easily see him hit more like .272 with over 20 doubles, and if he gets on base more, you could also see a 20plus stolen base season, but in his first year lets walk before we watch this future star take off in 2025.

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