So, there was some high drama behind the scenes for this rookie outlook post. Prospect Itch does not, under any circumstances, agree with me writing or promoting Cristian Pache in any way. Thinks he’s overrated and might struggle to hit .220. Others in my close orbit have no qualms with this post. Others in my close orbit include Cougs and Ted, my dog. Bless their hearts, but neither even know who Cristian Pache is, so when I asked them if I should write a post about Cristian Pache, they didn’t have the deepest of insights. As you might’ve saw, in Itch’s top 50 fantasy baseball prospects for redraft leagues (meaning: The best for 2021, and only 2021), Pache didn’t even crack the top 40. So, I obviously think higher of Pache than Itch, and it’s not just because I saw Pache wears a Star of David. Let’s get one thing out of the way, Notacristian Pachestein, as he’s commonly known amongst the Hebrews, ranks way higher on regular baseball prospect lists because his defense is a chef’s kiss from the sea to shining sea. Andruw Jones just popped his head out of his mansion on the island of Curaçao, and said, “Did I time travel forward to 2020?” Jones might’ve, but Pache is his own man, but his defense is just as sexy. If you watched the playoffs, you saw him rob a home run with a “hop and sit down” like it was en bee dee. Defense is not a part of most people’s fantasy games, but if you have anything defensive minded in one of your crazy category leagues, Pache is a top three center fielder immediately in the league, and might be the top one with opportunities. But, back to our normie leagues, where defense is ignored and is about figuring out if Itch is right to mostly ignore Pache for 2021, or if there’s more here. So, what can we expect from Cristian Pache for 2021 fantasy baseball?
Psyche! My NFBC league filled, so we’ve started another league with Donkey Teeth. It’s 150 smackers to join, one thousand smackers to the winner with a thirty-thousand-smackers overall prize, and other runner-up smackers. Lots of smackers. It’s a slow draft with a 2-hour clock. Should be fun and super easy to beat Donkey Teeth! To sign up, click this rather unwieldy link that’s under this writing. Anyway, the Cristian Pache 2021 fantasy:
It’s insane how many young talents the Braves have, and maybe there’s fatigue because of that, or because Cristian Pache’s been in the prospect game for so long, even if he’s only 21. Pache started being tracked at the age of 16 by fantasy prognosticators. Knowing what we now know about Braves scouts, they were prolly tracking Pache when he was 8 years old. “I’m gonna hand you this juice box and I want to see how hard you can throw it to that man holding a mitt.” The Braves would be crazy to not start Cristian Pache from the jump in 2021 just for his defense. As we saw in the playoffs, that could mean out of the 9-hole where he hit one homer and .182 with a 16% K%. Super small sample; it was 12 games, and 22 ABs. Think it’s fair to throw that out.
His power grades out at 50, and if you saw his home run in the playoffs, he’s an easy 12 to 15 homer guy. If he fills out just a little bit, he could move into a 20-25 homer guy. Guys usually do fill out from the ages 21 to 27. “I enjoyed a few hamburgers during those years.” That’s Andruw Jones, who went through the ages 21 to 27, and became unrecognizable he filled out so much. Pache can turn on an inside pitch and power it out to left field. No problem. Whether Pache fills out to 25+ homers at some point, shouldn’t factor into redraft leagues for 2021. Don’t think he’s getting there in the next 12 months. This could be a good thing because he’s fast.
Can he steal bags? Well, can and will are different things, and Ken Williewilson is a third thing. Pache could steal 40 bags, but he might only steal 12-15 because he seems utterly confused as to when or how to steal. In Double-A, he stole eight bags and was caught 11 times. That’s legit hilarious. Does he get lost on his way to the next bag? Is he wracked with guilt because he thinks stealing is bad? Don’t know, but his ability to run fast is there, but his ability to steal bases is not. Hitting in front of Acuña, Swanson, Freeman, and the Braves aren’t going to want him running into outs. This is yet another factor of his game that could just appear, i.e., Pache could be a 30/30 guy in 2021 but is likely more of a 15/15 guy.
Finally, his contact isn’t bad — maybe a 24% strikeout rate. His BABIP will be high due to his speed. So, yeah, I don’t know why Itch thinks he might not hit .220. He looks like a .240 hitter at worst, and closer to .250-65. So, in conclusion, the bad Pache outcome in fantasy terms is Jackie Bradley Jr. The good Pache outcome is honestly too good to even say because y’all might start drafting him in the top 50 overall. Even a chance at the really good Pache outcome is likely a year away. For 2021, I’l give Cristian Pache projections of 51/14/54/.244/11 in 461 ABs.