‘I feel like I can go catch anything’: Cubs outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong details defensive acumen
Pete Crow-Armstrong hasn’t been in professional baseball long, but he has already drawn rave reviews about his defensive ability in the outfield.
The headliner prospect the Cubs acquired from the New York Mets at last year’s trade deadline, Crow-Armstrong doesn’t turn 20 until later this month.
After he was drafted with the 19th overall pick in 2020, he missed all but 6 games last season due to a shoulder injury.
Crow-Armstrong has been at the Cubs complex in Arizona this winter and has officially been given the all-clear on the health front.
“[Cubs minor league athletic trainer] James Edwards and all the athletic training staff got me right in my time here so far and I feel very fortunate for that,” Crow-Armstrong said. “So from here, it’s just getting ready to play.”
Now that the shoulder injury is in the rearview mirror, Crow-Armstrong has turned his attention to his on-field development.
Defense has always been his calling card and his ability to play a premium center field is a big part of why Lance Brozdowski ranked Crow-Armstrong No. 2 on the Cubs midseason prospect list last summer.
Crow-Armstrong recently gave Marquee Sports Network a peek behind the curtain at how he has become an impact defender. It all started in high school at Harvard-Westlake in Southern California where coach Jared Halpert had a major influence.
“Halp is a special person in my life, along with a lot of other guys that I shared the high school field with,” Crow-Armstrong said. “The cool thing about Halp is he played outfield himself. At least for me, I didn’t come across many coaches who really emphasized your work defensively. So from an early age (13-14) when I first got around him, he kinda took it to another level for me. We drilled defense differently and I’ve taken that every step of the way with me in my career and it’s definitely helped me a lot.”
Crow-Armstrong took Brozdowski and Marquee through some of his drills, including kinesthetic feel — letting the ball cross his eye level as he’s running — and how he learned to rely on his hands to catch the ball as he’s in a dead sprint.
“Building the trust in my glove is one of the things that sets me apart,” he said. “I feel like I can go catch anything.”
Crow-Armstrong also explained the little tricks he’s picked up over his career, including knowing where he is on the field by counting how many cuts in the grass he has from where he is positioned until he hits the wall.
Check out the full defensive demo above with Pete Crow-Armstrong and stay tuned to Marquee Sports Network all month for more prospect coverage from Arizona.