Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

The Road to The Show™: Cubs’ Crow-Armstrong

Top prospect shines as human highlight reel with star potential
Ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong was dealt from the Mets to the Cubs at the 2021 Trade Deadline. (Freek Bouw/
July 18, 2023

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at top Cubs prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here. There are few prospects in the Minor Leagues who

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at top Cubs prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here.

There are few prospects in the Minor Leagues who can provide excitement on the field like Pete Crow-Armstrong.

A 2022 Gold Glove recipient and two-time Futures Game participant, some of Crow-Armstrong’s greatest hits include a grand slam on the 16th pitch of his at-bat and a triple that ended with an acrobatic slide reminiscent of the MLB All-Star for which he was once traded, Javier Báez. And he did those two things within a two-week span for Double-A Tennessee.

The 21-year-old has such a deep catalog of highlight-reel catches, walk-off winners and game-changing moments that it’s become easy to forget that he’s only played in about a season and a half worth of professional games.

This year, he’s batting .277/.355/.492 with 31 extra-base hits, including 10 homers, 52 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 63 games with the Smokies. He concluded his strong first half with his second Futures Game appearance at T-Mobile Park in Seattle last week.

As a high school prospect, the lefty was a line-drive hitter with an ability to spray the ball to all fields. The 21-year-old got a little pull-happy as he added more power during his first full Minor League season last year. He’s using the whole field a little more this year, but his fly ball rate has spiked significantly.

MLB Pipeline’s No. 7 overall prospect is on pace to hit more homers and steal more bases than he did last season. Increasing those totals was a point of emphasis as he got his professional career off the ground last year – alongside another goal, which he eventually achieved.

“Wherever I end up at the end of the year, I'd love a ring,” Crow-Armstrong told while he was playing with Single-A Myrtle Beach last April, months before he’d help High-A South Bend to a Midwest League title. “And I'd love to see some more power from myself. I think that's on the horizon and I can feel it coming. … I want to get some bags this year. I don't think that's a secret -- if you can run, you want to steal. I want to look back and see myself impacting games and team wins in a lot of different ways.”

The Sherman Oaks, California, native was on or near the prospect radar long before his Draft year. Crow-Armstrong played on USA Baseball’s 12U National Team that finished second at the COPABE Pan American Championships in 2014. He continued playing on national teams through high school and eventually starred for the Gold Medal-winning club at the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.

Even without his USA Baseball exploits, Crow-Armstrong never failed to demand attention from scouts as an amateur. He attended Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, which has produced big leaguers Max Fried, Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty. Like Giolito, Crow-Armstrong comes from a family of actors. His mother, Ashley Crow, is known for her role in the 1994 movie “Little Big League.”

He was viewed as one of the best prep prospects in the 2020 Draft, but he struggled to produce during the summer entering his pandemic-shortened senior season at Harvard-Westlake. However, his track record of hitting the ball hard and playing stellar center field defense kept him in the first round.

The Mets selected Crow-Armstrong with the No. 19 overall pick and signed him to a slot-value bonus of $3.36 million. After waiting out the pandemic, he made his debut in the Grapefruit League and styed in Florida for the regular season with Single-A St. Lucie. Just six games into the season, during which he had gone 10-for-24 (.417) at the plate, Crow-Armstrong suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder on a slide into third base and was shut down for the remainder of the season.

Unexpectedly, Crow-Armstrong completed his rehab in a different organization. The Cubs, who were beginning their rebuild by trading away the stars of their 2016 World Series champion club, landed Crow-Armstrong in return for Baez and right-hander Trevor Williams at the 2021 Trade Deadline.

The 5-foot-11, 184-pound outfielder made his organizational debut in the Cactus League before reporting to Myrtle Beach at the start of 2022. He played in just 38 games with the Pelicans before earning a promotion, batting .354/.443/.557 with 15 extra-base hits, including seven homers, 27 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

He returned to his hometown to compete in his first Futures Game last July at Dodger Stadium, and remained brilliant down the stretch for South Bend. He batted .287 with an .831 OPS, nine homers and 19 stolen bases in the final 63 regular season games before going 9-for-28 (.321) in six games to help the Cubs to the Midwest League championship.

He batted .312 with an .896 OPS overall in 2022 and was one of only two players in the Minors with at least 10 triples, 20 doubles, 15 homers and 30 stolen bases. And he did all that while playing Gold Glove defense in center field.

Crow-Armstrong has played a handful of games in both corner outfield spots this season. But he’s likely to remain in center, where he caught the eye of Cubs manager David Ross this spring. If all goes according to plan for the Cubs, he’ll soon be playing in Wrigley Field, flanked by two other top prospects, Brennen Davis and Kevin Alcántara.

Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for