Pete Crow-Armstrong: Cubs 2022 Minor League Player Of The Year

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Missing nearly the entire 2021 season with a torn right labrum challenged Pete Crow-Armstrong to assess his game while rehabbing. 

“I think being able to take the good out of a pretty (lousy) circumstance was important for me,” Crow-Armstrong said. “It was a good lesson.”

When the center fielder wasn’t performing shoulder strengthening exercises, he was watching videos of his swing.

“Not swinging a bat for so long helped me re-feel my swing, and there were some new things implemented,” Crow-Armstrong said. “It’s all about constantly refining what you got.

“So I think that was an opportunity for me to take a few steps back, break it down a little bit. And once I felt good and my shoulder felt comfortable, just be able to continue to refine what I got.”

The changes, which included keeping his barrel in the hitting zone longer and adjusting his hands, added another dimension to the 20-year-old’s game—power.

Drafted 19th overall by the Mets in 2020, Crow-Armstrong appeared in just six games in 2021 before injuring his shoulder. So this was his first healthy pro season. 

He hit 16 home runs In 101 games for Low-A Myrtle Beach and High-A South Bend, batting .312/.376/.520 with 32 stolen bases, 36 walks and 102 strikeouts.

“He worked very hard with (hitting coaches) Rachel Folden, Dustin Kelly and Justin Stone in Arizona,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “His exit velocity is up by almost three miles per hour from where it had been.”

While adding strength, the 6-foot, 184-pound Crow-Armstrong hasn’t lost a step in center field, where he makes frequent highlight-caliber plays.

“I want to catch everything,” Crow-Armstrong said. “If there’s a wall there, I’m going to climb or run through it.”

The Cubs added Crow-Armstrong at the 2021 trade deadline when they sent shortstop Javier Baez and righthander Trevor Williams to New York. He is projected as one of the pillars of the “next great Cubs team” touted by team officials.

“One step at a time, but we all have our goals,” Crow-Armstrong said. “I think we’re all like-minded in what we want. We want to win a World Series at Wrigley and do it multiple times.”


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