Cristian Pache *, OF, ATL

Let’s look at some rookie-eligible players likely to make their team’s Opening Day rosters. We will start with young Braves outfielder Cristian Pache.

Video courtesy of DSBaseball
  • Born: November 19, 1998
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’2″, 215-lbs
  • Signed by the Atlanta Braves in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

What isn’t shown in the table above is the fact that Pache made it to the majors for a few ABs in the regular season, and then kept going in the postseason where he did not appear outmatched.

In the minors we can see his power increasing from season to season to now being above average and could eventually become a 20-HR threat. The speed dropped, but he is fast, so this is more a matter of opportunity than ability. He has the chance to be a 20-20 man in the majors at some point.

It’s nice to see him not strike out too much, and take a walk, and get on base a good amount of time.

The right-handed hitting Pache did very well against lefties in Double-A, but he was credible against RHP as well. In Triple-A he did better against righties.

His HR power is pull power at present, and many of his doubles are pulled too. But as noted above, his power is growing, so stay tuned.

His OPS trend was steady in his teen years, and then 2019 happened and a light switch was flipped. His career average just under .800 was blown away in AA. He adjusted in AAA and was starting to figure it out, and now he is in the majors. An adjustment period can be expected there too.

The Scouts

Warnings

The power is not fully developed, and the speed hasn’t shown results on the base paths for a couple of seasons. The potential is there, but we have to see it.

His defense in CF is the best in the minors, and now will be among the best in the majors. He’s gonna play for that alone, but his offense may take time to adjust before he offers good fantasy output. Be aware of this, and be patient. 2021-only leagues might not find him as valuable as dynasty leagues.

Conclusion

The light-hitting prospect turned it on once he reached AA, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. His defense will keep him in the lineup unless he looks hopelessly overmatched, but then in 2020 he didn’t look hopelessly overmatched.

It make take him a year or two to fully develop at the plate, but those 20-20 seasons are coming.

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