He’s just one step away, folks.

Following a trip to Seattle for his second Futures Game and an inexplicable return to Double-A Tennessee for a few weeks, Pete Crow-Armstrong is getting a promotion to Triple-A Iowa.

The No. 1 prospect in the Cubs system and Top 10 prospect according to MLB Pipeline has put together yet another masterful season, continuing the success we saw a year ago and checking all the development boxes the Cubs front office needed to see in Double-A.

In 73 games for the Smokies, PCA recorded a slash line of .289/.371/.527 while striking out in 24% of his plate appearances and walking in 9.1%. When compared to the rest of his peers at the Double-A level, his OPS is 21% better than league average while his K%+ sits at 107 and BB%+ is down at 78.

Offensively as a whole, he’s looking at a 130 BASH according to my numbers, which places him third among current Cubs minor leaguers this year with as many ABs behind only Moises Ballesteros and Owen Caissie.

So what check boxes is PCA going to have to tackle in his time at the highest level of the minors? I’ll point first to his strikeout and walk rates, each of which don’t necessarily blow you away. He’ll be leaving a league where the pre-tacked baseballs did wonders for helping pitchers load up on strikeouts in the first half, so I wouldn’t be surprised to actually see a drop in his punchies even as he climbs the ladder as he’s done since the All-Star break, when they stopped using the sticky balls.

Speaking of which… since that threshold, PCA is logging these numbers in 12 games: .375/.464/.792 (1.256 OPS), 19.6% K, 14.3% BB, 4 homers, 6 doubles, and a triple.

Patience will be something that gets practiced early and often during his time in Des Moines. We’ve said plenty of times that it’s hard for a guy like Pete to take a ton of pitches when he knows he has the ability to hit for average and power. With other big leaguers, top prospects, and solid all-around baseball players alongside him in the lineup, Crow-Armstrong will benefit from working counts and drawing an extra walk or two.

This promotion continues a trajectory that many folks laid out before the season began — kill it in Double-A before making a quick stop in Triple-A on his way to the Chicago outfield at the end of the season. It’ll be interesting to follow the Cubs moves in the next few hours as the trade deadline plays out because it could ultimately impact what role he has in the organization come September.

Regardless, Hollywood Pete’s time in Iowa is likely short. If you’re in the Des Moines area, take advantage of seeing this kid play in person!

UPDATE: This report has been confirmed in a tweet by The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma