It’s coming, slowly but surely. I think we will see more of this – much more – when the full top 100 prospect re-rankings come out at midseason.
For today, MLB Pipeline has done a minor top 100 update to account for graduations (and a handful of actual rankings changes), and it means, at least according to Pipeline, there are now three top 100 prospects in the Chicago Cubs system:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 23, 2022
In addition to outfielder Brennen Davis (16) and shortstop Cristian Hernández (85), the list also now features outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong at 97. The writeup describes the placement thusly:
The 2020 19th overall pick, who was acquired from the Mets while injured at last year’s Trade Deadline, has been off to a fiery start at Single-A Myrtle Beach, where he’s hitting .372/.463/.584 through 33 games. Crow-Armstrong is a plus runner and plus-plus defender in center on top of that.
MLB Pipeline joins Baseball America in doing an early re-rank that includes PCA as a top 100 prospect. They also have Hernández and Davis in there, so we’re getting close to being able to say that the Cubs have at least three clear top 100s right now.
Crow-Armstrong, who turned 20 in March, is hitting .372/.463/.584 in the pitcher-friendly Carolina League, and his wRC+ (189) not only leads the league, but is also ten points higher than the next closest hitter. He’s not really striking out (18.8%), he’s taking his walks (12.5%), he’s hitting line drives (26.9%), and he’s hitting for power (.212 ISO). Together with the speed and the glove, it’s just kinda … everything you’d want to see?
About that power, by the way, PCA hit his 6th homer of the year yesterday:
Of all the “things” going on in the minors for the Cubs this year – and there have been so many! – the immediate show of power by PCA might be the most surprisingly delightful. It’s a significant profile-changer, and it was one of the bigger questions coming into the season.
That is all to say, it would be pretty hard to argue at this moment that PCA is not a top 100 prospect. In fact, I submit that – barring some kind of tremendous collapse from here – when the more comprehensive midseason re-rankings take place, PCA should probably be closer to 50 than he is to 100.