Did Cubs Outfield Prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong Just Make the Catch of the Year?

Chicago Cubs outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong has been getting a lot of attention this year for his breakout bat, but it’s probably worth remembering that one of the things that made him such a compelling prospect in the first place was his tremendous defensive ability.

PCA served up a reminder last night with what some are going to be offering up as the early leader for catch of the year:

There is so much there that makes the catch even better than it looks – and it looks fantastic to begin with!

First of all, that ball was hit hard enough that it didn’t hang up for a terribly long time. Second of all, no outfielder was particularly close to being well-positioned for a ball to the left-center gap (I guess you’re not expecting D.J. Herz to give up a bullet to a righty in that direction). Third of all, the ball is coming down at the base of the wall, which always makes gloving it more difficult (especially if you don’t want to hurt yourself).

So, in order to make that catch, PCA had to read it perfectly off the bat, had to take a direct route to the landing spot, had to use his exceptional speed to get there, and then had to time his slide well enough to be able to catch the ball and not crash into the wall. And the catch was slightly over-the-shoulder, too, just for added style and difficulty!

Bryan underscored just how impressive the catch was from the start to the finish. You just have no business making this play:

As MLB Pipeline points out about the catch, Pete Crow-Armstrong is just one of eight ranked prospects (there are 900 of them) who has a fielding tool of 70. Plays like this are why.

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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