I would not characterize this as something that was necessarily in the plans from the jump, given the surgery he was coming back from and his very limited pro experience as a high school draft pick, but eventually a guy just forces your hand.
That is to say, Cubs outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong is saying farewell to Low-A Myrtle Beach and hello to High-A South Bend. The 20-year-old center fielder hit .354/.443/.557 over 38 games with Myrtle Beach, posting a 177 wRC+, the highest wRC+ for any prospect in baseball age 20 or younger. His peripherals were stellar, and he also played exceptional defense and stole 13 bases just for good measure. He is a stud, and a pretty clear top 100 prospect at this point.
Crow-Armstrong, aka PCA, was acquired at the deadline last year for Javy Báez, Trevor Williams, and cash (thank goodness the Mets wanted a little cash in order to give up a better prospect!), joins a prospect-laden outfield at South Bend, where you’ve got Owen Caissie, Yohendrick Pinango, Jordan Nwogu, Cole Roederer, and Jonathan Sierra all justifying starts at the moment. There will definitely have to be a creative balance to make sure everyone is getting the plate appearances they need, and I’ve wondered if we would see a challenge promotion to Double-A for one of these guys. Caissie, Pinango, and Nwogu, in particular, have all been raking in May, but they are also so young/inexperienced that heading to Double-A already would feel kinda crazy.
Like I said at the top, though, at some point you just have to move a guy up and prioritize what you can. PCA is one of the best prospects in the system, and it was clear that he was no longer even close to being challenged by the pitching available at Low-A. Now we see if High-A presents more of a challenge, and if so, how he adjusts.
We also see who joins Myrtle Beach to rotate into the outfield mix. I wonder if maybe last year’s 4th rounder, Christian Franklin, is finally getting healthy? I would love to see him back in action.