Jed Hoyer on Pete Crow-Armstrong’s Demotion-But-Not-Really-A-Demotion

Pete Crow-Armstrong, who homered immediately upon being optioned back to Triple-A Iowa, is already putting together another good game as we speak. It would not be a surprise if he continues to hit very well at Iowa, given that he was holding his own in the big leagues in a way that was suggestive of real developmental milestones.

But we know he is not yet a finished offensive product, and that his upside there is substantial. So, it also not a surprise that he was optioned back to Iowa (though the timing was mildly surprising), and it was certainly not a knock on his ability.

“I thought it was really positive,” Cubs President Jed Hoyer told 670 The Score of Crow-Armstrong’s stint with the Cubs for the past month. “First of all, I thought on the defensive side, he’s going to be a Gold Glove-quality center fielder. I think you can already rank him among the top center fielders. You see how easy he makes hard plays look. These plays are 85%, 90% hit probabilities and he makes the play chest-high or head-high. It makes it look pretty simple. So that’s a lot of fun to watch.”

Yeah, no questions there. The glove looks every bit as good as you’d expect from a prospect with an 80 grade on it, and multiple minor league defensive awards.

“I thought his decision-making in general was better,” Hoyer continued. “I think that offensively, I think at this point, he needs to play every day and be down there and get at-bats. But I thought compared to last year, his ability to battle against Major League pitching was much better. He did make better decisions at the plate. I think there was a lot of real positive signs. I thought this stint looked nothing like last year, which is fantastic. I thought he looked like someone that has a chance to help us for a long time.”

Progress. We know what PCA’s role is on this club long-term, but for now, I have no issue with him making everyday starts at Iowa. With Cody Bellinger fully healed from the rib fractures, he’s going to be the guy in center field every day. So, until and unless the Cubs decide to sit Ian Happ or Michael Busch, there just aren’t going to be anything close to regular starts in the big leagues for PCA. I don’t love it because he can be so impactful already, but I understand it.

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