If you had told the Yankees two years ago they would have a shot at drafting prep centerfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong in 2020, many in the room would have assumed that the previous season had gone totally down the drain. At that point Crow-Armstrong was showing the talent that teams try to tank for. The young Californian has not been able to maintain that type of hype, but he is still an outstanding prospect that the Yankees will be taking a long look at in case he falls to them at the 28th spot in the draft.
Pete Crow-Armstrong has a family background that fans will likely hear a lot about on draft night. His mother, Ashley Crow-Armstrong played the lead character’s mother in the 1994 movie Little Big League, and has many other acting credits to her name. His father Matt Armstrong was also an actor for many years, before becoming an English Teacher.
The younger Crow-Armstrong has made a name for himself at baseball powerhouse Harvard-Westlake high school. This school is no stranger to elite prospects as the program has produced major leaguers Max Fried, Jack Flaherty, and Lucas Giolito.
His performance in high school led to back-to-back selections to Team USA’s U-18 squad. This past season he hit .364/.405/.606 during the U-18 Baseball World Cup. His performance also included rave reviews for his defense where he reportedly robbed multiple home-runs during the tournament.
After being in the conversation for the number one overall pick, he did not match his lofty expectations during the 2019 season. What classifies as struggles for a player of Crow-Armstrong’s ability, was only enough to drop him to the bottom of the first round, or supplemental in the eyes of scouts. He had rebounded this spring, and was climbing back up draft boards when the COVID-19 pandemic cut his season short.
There are questions if Crow-Armstrong will reach the Yankees when they draft 28th in the draft. Baseball America has him as the 17th best draft prospect, while MLB Pipeline has hime down at 25. Crow-Armstrong is committed to national powerhouse Vanderbilt, and is likely to force teams in that range of the draft to go over their bonus pool allotment in order to sign him. Last year the Yankees used their first round pick on another Vanderbilt commit in Anthony Volpe, and then had to go over-slot bonus money to sign him.
The 6-feet 1-inch lefty has above average tools in terms of speed, defense and his arm. His hit tool rates as average, while currently his power is the only below average tool. Scouts do not agree on his future power production. He is seen as a player with elite bat speed, who consistently makes loud contact. Some scouts think that will translate into more power down the road, while others question if he will ever have more than just average power.
Crow-Armstrong projects to be a plus defender in center field for the foreseeable future. He would be joining a deep position group inside of the Yankees organization. Jasson Dominguez, and Estevan Florial are the first names that stands out to fans, but the Yankees have solid centerfield depth at numerous levels of the low minors.
Pete Crow-Armstrong would be a great addition to the Yankees system if he makes it to them near the end of the first round. The Yankees would likely have to go over slot to sign him, but that is a draft day strategy they have used in the past. The young center-fielder has caught the attention of scouts and has all the tools to be an outstanding professional player.