With the 19th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the New York Mets selected Pete Crow-Armstrong. He is an outfielder out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, California. This is a school that has produced players such as Jack Flaherty, Max Fried and Lucas Giolito, so it’s really a high school baseball powerhouse.
When drafting players, it’s no secret that taking a high school player is much more of a long term investment than a college player. These kids come in at 18 years old, still developing physically and mentally, and most of the time, they are far and away the most dominant player in their respective conferences. The moment they’re drafted they go from being a big fish in a little pond, to a little fish in a big pond.
All eyes will be on Crow-Armstrong for the foreseeable future, as fans wonder how he will develop. Looking at his film, looking at his stats, and looking at his numbers, I can see him developing into the next great Mets outfielder.
The offense Pete Crow-Armstrong could bring to the Mets
One word comes to mind when it comes to his offensive abilities: smooth. His swing is efficient, rhythmic, and smooth as hell. The bat speed he’s able to generate despite not being a big strong kid is impressive. His hands move so quickly through the zone with very little wasted movement.
Since he’s lacking in strength at the moment, he’s more of a slap hitter. He also doesn’t really use his legs much, so that leaves a lot of power potential out of his swing. However, he makes up for it with quick hips, and again, great bat speed. Speaking of speed, he’s a very fast player, running the 60 yard dash in 6.5 seconds. For context, the average 60 in the 2020 high school class is 7.26 seconds.
Just as important, he hits the ball extremely well to all fields. Tremendous bat control allows him to find the barrel consistently, giving him the ability to create hard contact. He possesses excellent plate discipline, and does not seem to be phased either by hitting against lefties, something that will be of the utmost importance at the next level.
Aside from adding strength, the main thing he needs to fix in his game is the drifting that happens in his swing. Essentially, when his front food lands, his body ends up too far over the front side, causing him to chop down at the ball instead of creating a clean swing path. You can see it in this video here.
Drifting into your swing creates a higher chance of hitting ground balls. Thankfully, this is a mechanical issue that is very fixable, and it should prove to go away as he develops in the minor leagues. With speed, the ability to hit to all fields, and eventual power to come, he profiles as a number 2 hitter in any order.
Pete Crow-Armstrong’s defense is something to marvel at
When asked, MLB Network analyst Dan O’Dowd called Crow-Armstrong, “the best defensive center fielder in this draft class.” That’s high praise, and it is well deserved. His great speed allows him to track down balls in both gaps with ease. He also takes great routes to baseballs, showing that he not only has the speed, but also the fundamentals to play well in Citi Field.
The arm strength and accuracy is great as well. His outfield velocity was 93 mph at Perfect Game scouting combines, and his clean throwing mechanics give him a powerful and efficient throwing motion. He never misses cutoff men, his throws are always inside the ideal tag radius, and they don’t have much air under them.
If nothing else, he should develop into a Gold Glove caliber outfielder. I believe that he could step into a major league lineup and play lockdown defense right now. Yes, the defensive abilities are that special.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Overall, there’s no doubt in my mind that Pete Crow-Armstrong will be a great player for the Mets in the future. Thankfully, we get to watch him come up through the system and see his improvement every year. Hopefully, we get to see him soon patrolling center field at the big league level!