What to Expect from Cubs Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong

Pete Crow-Armstrong of the Chicago Cubs

A few weeks ago, the Cubs called up former first-round pick Jordan Wicks to round out their rotation for the stretch run. The move’s worked out well thus far for the Cubs, who are reportedly poised to promote another notable name from the Minors. Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong will reportedly join the Cubs this week, and here’s what fans can expect from the 21-year-old.

Related: 2023 Fantasy Baseball: Five Pitchers to Target on the Waiver Wire (Week 23)

A Look at Crow-Armstrong

Heading into the summer of 2019, former California prep star Pete Crow-Armstrong appeared to be a prime candidate to go first overall in the 2020 MLB Draft.

But after a subpar summer showing that year and virtually no time to regain his lost stock in 2020, Crow-Armstrong — who went to the same high school that produced Lucas Giolito, Max Fried, and Jack Flaherty — was selected with the 19th pick in 2020 by the Mets.

Crow-Armstrong didn’t spend much time in the Mets organization, however. The now 21-year-old played just six games in St. Lucie (A) in 2021 before he tore a labrum in his right shoulder, then was traded that summer to the Cubs for Javier Baez and Trevor Williams.

Since his return in 2022, Crow-Armstrong’s risen to become one of the better prospects in all of the game. He hit .312/.376/.520 with 16 home runs and 46 extra base hits in 2022 between two levels (A and A+), and stole 32 bases along the way. This season between Tennessee (AA) and Iowa (AAA), the 21-year-old belted 20 home runs and 53 extra bases, and sprinkled in 37 stolen bases.

From a skills standpoint, Crow-Armstrong has the makings of a five-tool player. He’s got a smooth swing, shown a steady ability to make contact — including a knack of poking balls the other way — as well as more power as of late. Yes, the strikeout numbers have jumped. But, the 21-year-old does have the makings to be a potential 20-20 hitter at the MLB level.

However, arguably Crow-Armstrong’s loudest tools are his speed and ability to play center field. Public scouting reports lauded his defensive upside when Crow-Armstrong was in high school, and that hasn’t changed much in the three years the Cubs outfielder’s been a pro.

After a strong start to September that saw Crow-Armstrong hit .300 with a pair home runs and nine RBI across six games, he’s now headed to The Show.

What it Means for the Cubs and Fantasy Outlook

Crow-Armstrong’s developed into a strong all-around outfielder over the past two seasons. Now, he’ll get a chance to see if he can make an impact in the North Side as the Cubs look to make it back to the postseason.

As of now, the Cubs outfield options include regulars Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki, and Cody Bellinger, as well as Alexander Canario and Mike Tauchman. Canario’s had just one at-bat since he was called up in early September, while Tauchman hit .194 through his first 37 plate appearances of the month.

Tauchman and Bellinger have split the reps at center this month, as the latter’s also seen time at first and DH. While we won’t know for certain how the Cubs plan on splitting the reps out at center until Crow-Armstrong officially arrives at the MLB level, the defensive wizard does give the Cubs brass the ability to keep Bellinger fresh and limit his time in center — without needing to sacrifice anything defensively.

As far as Crow-Armstrong’s fantasy value is concerned, the young outfielder’s got the potential to impact fantasy races. The 21-year-old’s ability to put ball in play and his speed makes him an intriguing option for those in need of stolen bases.