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Series 5: PCA and her maturity as a person were fun to watch develop in 2022 and this bodes well for 2023

Series 5: PCA and her maturity as a person were fun to watch develop in 2022 and this bodes well for 2023

Image by Todd Johnson

Welcome to the first article in my offseason series as I look at a potpourri of prospects and statements. Each episode will be fun for me to write because each article doesn’t have to fit any kind of formula other than talking about five things. It could be prospects, it could be coaches or managers, or it could just involve some trends in the system, the draft or even international free agency. I’ll keep you guessing.

We begin the series by taking a look at his namesake, South Bend Cubs number five Pete Crow-Armstrong.

One of the highlights for me this year was seeing Pete Crow-Armstrong play center field more every day in South Bend. When I first met him he was injured and I won’t be able to see him play until the end of June in Beloit. What a six-game set as he made some of the most incredible catches I’ve seen in person.

But the Pete Crow-Armstrong I saw on TV in April and May in Myrtle Beach was nothing like the Pete Crow-Armstrong of South Bend. He was much more mature and less petulant. I don’t think I saw him argue with an ump all summer and the only immature thing I saw him do was break a bat on his leg. However, I actually kind of enjoyed this intensity. The narrative does not speak of his maturity as a person.

Here are five ways this new maturity is helping her.

1. For Pete, maybe the best thing that ever happened to him was to wrestle in South Bend and then sit out injured for two weeks and not play. It probably made him appreciate being on the field more, especially since he missed almost all of 2021.

2. Not that PCA is a non-stop talker, but he is constantly talking about the game during the game. I love players who can analyze every pitch down to the smallest detail. The game seems slow to him.

3. Owen Caissie is probably one of the nicest kids I’ve met in years. Where you found Owen this summer, you usually found Pete. That friendship included non-stop baseball discussions during practice, during pregame, in the dugout after each at-bat, on the field, and again in the dugout at the end of the inning. It was one of the most interesting friendships I’ve seen since Eloy Jimenez and Eddie Martinez.

Image by Todd Johnson

4th One of the things I love about PCA and its maturity is that it takes risks. It might be at bat, it might be on the bases, but he’s getting a feel for the players he’s playing against. In a six-game set, a team gets to know you very quickly. It can be a good week or it can be a long week. He’s not afraid to try something different just to throw the other team off. I love that about him.

5. Another sign of maturity that I love about Pete is that he will do anything for the kids at the ball park. Adults try to get him to sign all the time and I don’t know how he ignores them, but he does. If it’s a kid, he’s there in a second signing autographs taking pictures, doing whatever for the kids. I love the fact that I can only block certain autograph seekers.

Looking ahead to 2023, PCA is far from a finished product and that includes its maturity. He’s still working on things and he’s only 21. But he is on the right track and doing things that will make him successful in the future. How quickly these things come together will be unclear. But it will be fun to watch.

Unfortunately, I will only be able to watch it on TV until I get to Iowa. Hopefully, that will be very soon. Who knows, he might make a trip to Tennessee in early June if he’s still in Double-A. Again, Iowa is much closer.

Keep this in mind…PCA spent most of last winter rehabbing. This winter… his job is to get better and stronger. Think about it for a minute or two. I can’t even imagine how much better 2023 will be.



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