We didn’t have much data on Pete Crow-Armstrong in 2021. We sure do now…
- Born: March 25, 2002
- B/T: Left/Left
- 6’0″, 184-lbs
- Drafted by the New York Mets in the 2020 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Harvard-Westlake High School (Los Angeles, CA)
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
Pete was drafted in 2020, the lost year. Then in 2021 he gets injured and the Mets only had 32 plate appearances to judge his performance before he was traded to the Cubs. In 2021 he was all potential.
In 2022, the potential showed up. He obliterated A ball to start the year showing defense and speed and power. Mets fans were feeling a bit disappointed, and Cubs fans could hardly believe their luck.
Then he goes to High-A, and the power remained, as does the speed, but the strikeouts rise and the walks drop and drags his OBP down with it. Was that his full High-A experience? Let’s break it down:
Yes, the power and the speed survived the promotion to High-A, and his strikeout rate was about the same in June. It was his walk rate that plummeted. He probably had some bad luck too, and thus the .230 OBP.
In July he starts to walk more and steal bases more, and the power is very real, and in August he puts it all together for a great High-A month. Then he finishes the year tired in September.
How real is the power? For the entire season he had a 25.4% Hard Hit rate, which is not that much. But we had this quote from mid-June:
Cubs center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong and Braves center fielder Michael Harris II have both made swing changes. PCA made his change in the offseason and has had time to generate a meaningful sample showing that it has indeed unlocked meaningful pull-power to go with his incredible center field defense. He now ranks among the other excellent up-the-middle defenders poised to make at least one-note offensive impact, in the 40-50 overall range of the list.FanGraphs
The power increase is from a swing change that unlocked pull power. Remember, he showed no power at all in 2021, and the thinking was he might be a great defensive center fielder, but not hit many HRs. But with pull power now in his arsenal, a 15-20 HR season to go with those stolen bases is quite possible.
Handedness K% and BB%
A (vs RH): 18%K and 12%BB. (vs LH): 19%K and 12%BB.
A+ (vs RH): 25%K and 4%BB. (vs LH): 19%K and 7%BB.
Whoa! This is very impressive stuff. Not only does he not have a platoon issue, in A ball he didn’t care who he faced, the skills were the same. In High-A against righties the strikeout rate increased, but still in acceptable territory.
His first test was aced, but the next one is Double-A. If he can excel there as well, he will be confirmed as a Top-30 prospect, if not Top-10.
Let’s see if his strikeout rate against righties in the upper levels gets too high.
Speed, power, on-base ability? Check, check, and check. All this in a player who will make the majors on his defense alone.
Pete Crow-Armstrong should be a Gold Glove centerfielder for the Cubs as soon as late 2023.