The Atlanta Braves top prospect technically had a home run taken away by the Boston Red Sox.
Cristian Pache is competing for the starting center fielder job with Ender Inciarte. After appearing in just two games in 2020 and making several postseason appearances, Pache has enjoyed his cup of coffee in the major leagues and is ready to take a job from a veteran who would be relegated to the bench were that the case.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Pache has showed up in spring training before, only to be eschewed to the minors for more development and due to service time issues. On Monday, he tried to make an impression by driving a ball to deep right-center field. The only problem was, Cesar Puello got in the way.
The short fence is meant to mock Fenway Park’s and Puello is lucky he didn’t go crashing into the bullpen.
Does Cristian Paché have a serious argument to start in the major leagues?
At 22 years old, Pache is more than ready to make a major league impact, one way or another. Even in a bench role, Pache would surely jump at the possibility of beginning life as an everyday big leaguer, rather than be forced back down to the minors and everyday bus rides once again.
But that’s not how the Braves — or most big league teams — do business with their top prospects. They’d rather not have to keep calling up and sending down a talent like Pache, repeatedly changing their environment in a volatile time in their development as a ballplayer.
If Pache is ready to get a starting gig, he’ll be in Atlanta come Opening Day. If not, expect the Braves to preach patience, and make fans wait a few months to see Paché everyday in a Braves uniform.