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2020 Mets draft profile: Pete Crow-Armstrong

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With their first selection in the 2020 draft, the Mets selected Pete Crow-Armstrong, an outfielder from California.

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Born: Sherman Oaks, California

Age: 18 (3/25/2002)

Height/Weight: 6’1”/180 lbs.

Position: CF

Bats/Throws: L/L

School: Harvard-Westlake (Los Angeles, California)

Pete Crow-Armstrong has baseball in his blood, though it is a bit more complicated than the sons from other baseball dynastic families. His mother, Ashley Crow, starred as Jenny Heywood in the movie Little Big League, the daughter of Minnesota Twins owner Thomas Heywood and mother of 12-year-old Minnesota Twins manager Billy Heywood. In addition to Little Big League, Crow has numerous credits to her name, including long-term roles on Heroes, Turks, Champs, Probe, and As The World Turns. In addition, his father, Matthew John Armstrong is an actor with numerous credits to his name as well, including long-term roles on American Horror Story, The Young and the Restless, Heroes, American Dreams, and Turks.

Far from a baseball prodigy who spent his formative years on the baseball diamond, Pete Crow-Armstrong grew up like many other American boys, playing little league but approaching the game as just that. Though a California kid, his father is from Chicago, Illinois and passed onto his son his Cubs fandom. It was not until 2014, when his little league coach suggested that he try out for the Under-12 United States National Baseball Team, which was having tryouts in Los Angeles at the time, that he even began entertaining the idea that baseball could be his calling. As fate would have it, Crow-Armstrong would try out and make the U-12 United States National Baseball Team and began competing in baseball tournaments all across the world.

In 2017, he began attending Harvard-Westlake, a co-ed college preparatory school in the Los Angeles area that has graduated the likes of Brennan Boesch, brothers Jarron and Jason Collins, Jamie Lee Curtis, Gray Davis, Jack Flaherty, Max Fried, Eric Garcetti, Lucas Giolito, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mark Harmon, Jon Lovitz, Danica McKellar, Josh Satin, Jason Segel, Tori Spelling, and Austin Wilson.

The 2017 Harvard-Westlake Wolverines went 22-5-3, with Pete Crow-Armstrong contributing in the outfield and on the mound. In 2018, the team improved, ending the season with a 23-5-1 record, losing to Valencia High School in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs. In 2019, the Wolverines went 27-6-1, ending the season as the California Southern Section Division 1 runner-ups. In 2020, Crow-Armstrong appeared in 10 games before COVID-19 prompted the cancellation of the baseball season. In those games, he was impressive, hitting .514, in 42 at-bats, striking out just once.

In addition to his time on the diamond at Harvard-Westlake, Pete Crow-Armstrong has been a regular in international competitions. In 2017, he was a member of the Team USA and participated in the COPABE U15 Pan-American Championships, helping win the gold medal at the international baseball competition. In 2018, he played center field for Team USA in the COPABE U18 Pan-American Championships and did his part to help the United States to a perfect 9-0 record and a gold medal by hitting .375/.571/.542 in all nine games, hitting four doubles. In 2019, Crow-Armstrong served as leadoff hitter and starting center fielder for Team USA in the U18 Baseball World Cup. Appearing in 9 games, he hit .364/.405/.606 with 4 doubles and 3 triples. In addition to his excellent job setting the table for the heart of the Team USA order, he robbed not just one, but two runs, against Taiwan and Australia, being named the 2018 Baseball World Cup All-World Center Fielder as a result.

At the plate, Pete Crow-Armstrong stands slightly open, holding his hands high and barring his bat behind his head. He swings with a slight leg kick, with an easy, low-effort contact-oriented left-handed swing that has registered exit velocities as high as 99 MPH. He hits left-handers and right-handers equally well, spraying line drives across the entire field. He is currently a hit-over-power player, slashing balls away or hitting them back up the middle, though he does show pull-side pop. At 6’1”, 180-pounds, he will likely add muscle to his frame in the years to come, but just how much power he will be able to add is a question that has scouts and evaluators split; some see him as possessing below-average power in the future, while others believe that whatever raw power he does add will be augmented by his ability to make hard, solid contact. Slight mechanical alterations to his set-up and swing, such as keeping his weight back and using more of his body, will also allow him to improve his timing, thereby improving his in-game power as well. He demonstrates excellent awareness plate, with an eye for the strike zone and a burgeoning eye for recognizing spin.

While there are questions about his offensive potential, there are no questions about his defensive potential. Not only does Crow-Armstrong play center field, but he excels at virtually every aspect of the position. He reads the ball well off the bat and shows an advanced understanding of routes. A plus runner, he effortlessly glides around the outfield, showing a great deal of range. He releases the ball quickly, and his arm is above-average in terms of arm strength and accuracy. He is vocal and a leader among his fellow outfielders, taking charge and directing traffic.

Off the field, Pete Crow-Armstrong is wise beyond his years. Well read, with the likes of Thich Nhat Han on his bookshelf, Crow-Armstrong credits the Vietnamese monk and Buddhist mindfulness exercises as helpful not only on the baseball diamond but in his day-to-day life as well. He has not let his baseball fame go to his head at any point, and according to Jared Halpert, Harvard-Westlake’s baseball coach, is extremely coachable and an “MLB manager’s dream.”

Crow-Armstrong has a commitment to Vanderbilt University.