The Braves optioned Pache to Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. One of the top outfield prospects in baseball, Pache still needs some more time to develop as a hitter in the upper minors before making his big-league debut, likely at some point later this season. Already an elite defender who brings quality speed to the table, Pache slashed .277/.340/.462 with 12 home runs in 130 games between Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi a season ago.
Pache went 3-for-3 with a trio of singles, two stolen bases and a run scored Monday in the Braves' 6-4 exhibition win over the Phillies. Pache's plus speed is his most appealing tool from a fantasy perspective, and he hasn't been shy about showcasing his wheels early in spring training, going 3-for-3 on steal attempts through seven games. The 21-year-old's ability to consistently hit major-league pitching is more questionable at this point, so he'll likely gain further seasoning at Triple-A Gwinnett to begin the upcoming season until the Braves feel he's ready for a stiffer test. Even if he struggles at the plate once he reaches the majors, Pache should at least make for a quality fourth outfielder thanks to his standout defense and baserunning.
Pache was added to the 40-man roster Tuesday. Pache is a very talented prospect. He's a whiz on the defensive side of the ball, where he's considered an excellent center fielder. He posted a mediocre 92 wRC+ in 26 games for Triple-A Gwinnett in 2019 but had a much stronger 134 wRC+ (easily his best mark at any level) in 104 games for Double-A Mississippi. Pache just turned 21 years old Tuesday, so he has plenty of time to improve at the plate, though his defensive chops could earn him a big-league role before his bat is fully ready.
The Braves promoted Pache from Double-A Mississippi to Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Atlanta will move both of its top two position prospects up to the minors' highest level, as Pache will be joined in Gwinnett by fellow outfielder Drew Waters. From a defensive standpoint, the 20-year-old Pache already looks MLB ready, but the Braves may want to see him refine his plate approach before summoning him to the majors. After posting a 79 wRC+ at Mississippi following a late-summer promotion in 2018, Pache made considerable strides while returning to the Southern League this season, slashing .278/.340/.474 (136 wRC+). He failed to translate his high-end speed to much success on the bases, however, going 8-for-19 on steal attempts.
Pache is slashing .209/.280/.297 through 25 games in July with zero homers, one steal and a 31.0 percent strikeout rate (7:31 BB:K). The 20-year-old still has a solid .276/.337/.472 on the year, and his defensive profile is still elite in center field, but the flaws in Pache's offensive skill set have come to the fore -- in addition to his issues making contact, he's just 8-for-19 on stolen-base attempts. Given his age and outstanding athleticism, he still has a tremendous ceiling if he can make the necessary adjustments, but his July struggles should give pause to fantasy GMs expecting him to make a splashy big-league debut in 2020.
Last 7 Games