Prospect Crow-Armstrong is aware of all about The Present enterprise initially appeared on NBC Sports activities Chicago
MESA, Ariz. — Pete Crow-Armstrong shouldn’t be a serious league heart fielder, at the very least not but. However he performed one on TV the opposite day — making a sliding catch in heart subject and later drawing a stroll through the successful rally in a Cubs’ spring recreation.
No shock to see the fourth-ranked prospect within the group exhibit expertise when given an opportunity — particularly within the subject, the place Baseball America calls him the most effective defensive outfielder within the Cubs’ system.
If something, it’s the convenience on the larger stage and poise round it that look most spectacular about Crow-Armstrong at this early level in his professional baseball profession.
However perhaps that shouldn’t be so stunning, both.
As a result of whereas Crow-Armstrong has solely six official professional video games of expertise on the sector since he was drafted in 2020 — because of a pandemic his first yr and a shoulder damage his second — he has extra expertise round large phases than most individuals get in a lifetime.
“My mother and father have been most likely these individuals that might say it’s not actuality,” Crow-Armstrong mentioned of rising up in Southern California with mother and father who have been actors — together with recurring roles for each on the TV collection Heroes.
As a lot as they’ve beloved their jobs, his mother and father, Ashley Crow and Matthew John Armstrong, saved house life extra “quiet” and separate, he mentioned.
“We didn’t dwell in Hollywood. We didn’t dwell beneath any highlight,” he mentioned. “Nothing about my childhood had something to do with the leisure enterprise, it felt like, as a result of I believe my mother and father wished me as distant as doable.”
Properly, virtually nothing. He did have that one favourite babysitter. And he did get to hang around on the set rather a lot as a younger child.
“On a regular basis,” he mentioned. “And that was enjoyable for me. I appreciated being across the older actors, and I appreciated being babysat by my mother’s co-stars and what-not.”
“Hayden Panettiere babysat me. I had the largest crush on her,” Crow-Armstrong mentioned. “Yeah, I’d say she was most likely the good one for me.”
Today, Pete’s mother coaches appearing extra usually than taking roles. And his dad — who grew up in Naperville and handed his Cubs fandom to his son — largely teaches highschool English.
But when the child who was blindsided by final July’s commerce from the Mets to his favourite staff — for his favourite participant, Javy Báez, no much less — winds up driving the wings of all that baseball expertise from A-ball to the majors as a part of Jed Hoyer’s “subsequent nice Cubs staff,” it’s arduous to think about anyone this facet of Ed Howard may need the expertise and life expertise to raised deal with the media fishbowl and trials of Wrigley Discipline and its 40,000-strong jury field.
“He’s a powerful younger man, on and off the sector,” mentioned Cubs farm director Jared Banner, who was with the Mets after they drafted Crow-Armstrong nineteenth total out of Harvard-Westlake Excessive Faculty — the L.A. baseball powerhouse that when had Lucas Giolito, Jack Flaherty and Max Fried on its staff on the similar time.
Crow-Armstrong downplays the influence his spotlight-adjacent upbringing would possibly play in his beyond-his-age poise and luxury each in a big-league spring outfield and through a 20-minute sit-down in entrance of a Chicago TV digital camera.
“I believe I simply try to keep myself and … I don’t know,” he mentioned. “Cameras are cameras, man.
“I’m simply being me. I’m right here to play baseball.”
To this point so good so far as the Cubs — and the commerce publications — are involved. Misplaced seasons and all.
He’s thought of one of many brightest prospects among the many 9 the Cubs acquired in trades the final 15 months of All-Stars Yu Darvish, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Báez through the entrance workplace’s second rebuild in a decade.
Earlier than Crow-Armstrong damage his shoulder final season, he bought his profession skilled whole of 32 plate appearances, all at low-A Port St. Lucie (Florida), going 10-for-24 (.417) with two doubles and 7 walks. He even stole two bases.
By the point the commerce deadline approached, he was properly right into a rehab program in Florida with a chance of a commerce unattainable to fathom — even after he bought the decision that it truly occurred.
“It felt type of pretend,” he mentioned. “I simply by no means pictured it occurring. It was as surreal because it presumably might have been. I don’t suppose it sunk in till I used to be [with the Cubs] for a stable period of time.”
The commerce hit all types of emotional hotspots for Crow-Armstrong and his household, particularly his dad.
The staff that meant one thing private. Getting traded for the All-Star shortstop he idolized. Getting traded in any respect — by no means thoughts whereas he was rehabbing from a critical damage.
“The weirdest factor was realizing my place within the recreation now,” he mentioned of the enterprise facet. “Like, we’re all simply one other participant, however something can occur. That confirmed me that clear-cut.”
He was on his approach to meet his mother and father, who have been in Florida to see him, when he bought the decision he’d been traded. His dad saved his cool within the second at listening to the information however “was by means of the roof” over Pete becoming a member of his Cubs.
The entire thing turned out to be only one extra surreal chapter within the damndest two years to start out knowledgeable baseball profession a participant might have whereas rising in notoriety and stature amongst prospects.
“Pete did a fantastic job in 2020 of getting as many dwell at-bats as he might in California, with a variety of good gamers on the market,” Banner mentioned, including that he adopted that with Tutorial League work within the Mets system after that. “Clearly, it’s lower than excellent that he has the damage final season.”
As soon as the Cubs bought him, he completed his rehab and was an enormous a part of their pre-spring mini-camp for choose prospects.
“I believe he’ll be greater than prepared,” Banner mentioned. “He’s a fantastic athlete. He’s a pure, aggressive baseball participant, and I believe that’ll shine all through the season.”
What’s sure is that he’s absolutely recovered from the shoulder and bodily prepared.
As for the non-physical a part of the experiences, that’s the place Crow-Armstrong mentioned he could have “gained greater than I misplaced” throughout all that point with no video games.
“I don’t suppose I misplaced something,” he mentioned. “Not taking part in and having these fascinating circumstances thrown at me has finished much more for me than simply taking part in daily. I’m used to that.
“It’s robust to get taken out of a season every week in. It’s robust to get taken out of a season every week in while you haven’t performed a season in over a yr,” he mentioned. “So it did much more for me mentally and simply studying the way to life my life as a quote-unquote grownup with out baseball.”
Mentioned Banner: “It’s going to be an enormous yr for him.”
Whether it is, it gained’t be the primary large yr in baseball for any individual in Crow-Armstrong’s household.
Ashley Crow’s most well-known function is well-known to many baseball followers, at the very least of a sure age: the mother, Jenny Heywood, in Little Large League.
Crow-Armstrong has watched it repeatedly over time, he mentioned, though it got here out eight years earlier than he was born.
“I like that film for what it’s, not even the truth that my mother’s in it,” mentioned Crow-Armstrong, who found it on his personal, impartial of his mother and father. “It’s only a enjoyable film. It’s a feel-good film. I don’t suppose you may dislike it.”
In fact, as soon as he began turning into extra distinguished in baseball circles as a tween and early teen, individuals began making the connection and asking him concerning the film and his mother.
Which makes you surprise which member of the household is extra well-known amongst baseball followers. It appeared fairly apparent again then. Possibly even now.
The higher query — at the very least for the Cubs — is likely to be who’s going to be extra well-known 10 years from now?
“If it’s nonetheless my mother, I wouldn’t be upset,” Crow-Armstrong mentioned. “She deserves it. I’m not even pondering 10 years down the highway. I’ve bought to get to low-A or rookie ball or high-A or wherever I begin this yr.
“I’ve simply bought to get a season beneath my belt.”
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