Written by: John Alfes (@JohnAlfes)
Follow us on Twitter! @Prospects365
Make sure you check out John’s first article from the Under Amour All-America game, which discusses the swings of potential 2020 draftees including Blaze Jordan, Austin Hendrick, Pete Crow-Armstrong and Kyle Karros. You can read that here.
Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito and Max Fried each sent a message to the Harvard-Westlake baseball team on May 17, the day before the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) state finals at Dodger Stadium. The Wolverines eventually lost to Cypress, 2-0, but their alumni’s presence is still felt through text messages, Instagram, Twitter and lasting relationships.
For outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, 17, a Vanderbilt commit and top class of 2020 prospect, those standout MLB pitchers are sources of guidance and motivation heading into the final season of his high school career.
“Having them to try and surpass as a goal is really nice and then also having them to talk to,” Crow-Armstrong said. “Lucas and Jack are always very nice to reach out to for advice and what not. It’s cool to have a goal and to have people like that to try and catch up to and hopefully pass up.”
Crow-Armstrong has known Flaherty since he was 7-years-old. They follow each other on various social media platforms and exchange texts often. Flaherty was part of Harvard-Westlake’s only state title in 2013, when he pitched a shutout and knocked in the game-winning run in a 1-0 win over Marina High School at Dodger Stadium. Since then, Flaherty has found his way back to Dodger Stadium — as a big league pitcher. The right-hander finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last season. Crow-Armstrong hopes to do the same in the batter’s box.
“Hopefully Drew Bowser and I,” Crow-Armstrong said of his teammate, a Stanford commit and another 2020 prospect.
But the support doesn’t stop there.
Crow-Armstrong’s mother, Ashley, is close friends with Giolito’s parents, Lindsay and Rick. His former roommate, Bobby Witt Jr., went to the Kansas City Royals with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft.
“[Witt Jr.] is the best baseball player I’ve ever played with in my life,” Crow-Armstrong said. “I’ve never seen anybody do things like that on the field. So, yeah. Bobby and I, we talk pretty often.”
The interconnectedness of the baseball world has led Crow-Armstrong to playing all three outfield positions inside the ivy walls of Wrigley Field, where he walked and stole a base in the 12th annual Under Armour All-America Game on Monday. The four-day experience involved a practice, scout workout, home run derby and showcase game, all under the instruction of coaches Bill Ripken and Sean Casey.
“I’m just excited to be out here with the guys. I think that’s what it’s all about,” Crow-Armstrong said. “We all did a lot to get here in the first place. We just gotta have fun with it and really appreciate the time we have out here.”
The Sherman Oaks native describes himself as a gap-to-gap hitter with an “obligation to left-center” field. He’s focused on making hard contact and belting line drives, with his power tool becoming a force, too.
“I’ve always trusted my genes and I’ve always thought that I’m going to grow into my power,” Crow-Armstrong said. “I don’t really need to do too much right now because I’m strong where if I get one, it’s going to go.”
Crow-Armstrong is surrounded by a baseball community at the high school, collegiate, Minor and Major League levels. His next step will either be with the defending NCAA champions or a big league organization come June 2020. For now, though, his sights are set on Harvard-Westlake, where the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher he’s known for 10 years first emerged.
“[Flaherty’s] a big supporter of Harvard-Westlake,” Crow-Armstrong said. “He’s a really good dude with me.”
Follow P365 contributor John Alfes on Twitter! @JohnAlfes
Follow us on Twitter! @Prospects365
Featured image courtesy of John Alfes