An excited Pache more than ready

August 19th, 2020

ATLANTA -- 's much-anticipated arrival came a little earlier than expected. But now that the club’s No. 1 prospect -- per MLB Pipeline -- is at the big league level, the Braves are going to give him a chance to show why he may soon rank among the game’s best defensive outfielders.

“I know he’s going to be excited about being out here,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s going to get gassed up and I’m excited about watching that kid play.”

Pache was set to make his Major League debut before Wednesday night’s game against the Nationals was postponed due to rain and rescheduled as part of a Sept. 4 doubleheader. He’ll now likely get his first big league action during Friday’s series opener against the Phillies. 

Though Pache is not the once-in-a-generation kind of prospect Ronald Acuña Jr. was just a couple years ago, he certainly has the potential to be an impact player in Atlanta for many years to come, especially if he develops the power that has started to materialize within the past few seasons.

The 21-year-old outfielder ranks as MLB Pipeline’s No. 14 prospect.

“I just like to think of myself as a fun ballplayer who works really hard and gives maximum effort out there,” Pache said through an interpreter. “I like to think I put out that kind of performance where I leave it all out there on the field.”

Pache learned of his promotion as he was shagging balls in the outfield at Triple-A Gwinnett’s Coolray Field early Tuesday evening. He received word around 5:30 p.m. ET and arrived at Truist Park about an hour later. The late call came as a result of the Braves learning Nick Markakis may have been potentially exposed to COVID-19.

Pache didn’t have enough time to prepare to start Tuesday. But he still savored the moment.

“You’d have thought he was in our starting lineup yesterday because by the time he got here he was out there running and getting loose like he was in the starting lineup then,” Snitker said. “That was a big deal just getting out in a big league uniform.”

Pache gained notice when he arrived at his first big league Spring Training in 2018 and was anointed the organization’s best defensive outfielder by 10-time Gold Glover Andruw Jones. This assessment was made just after Ender Inciarte had captured the second of his three straight Gold Gloves with Atlanta.

At some point within the near future, Pache will begin his reign as the club’s everyday center fielder. But Inciarte remains there as Pache was assigned to cover Truist Park’s spacious left field on Wednesday night.

Jones has worked with Pache at Spring Training each of the past three years and has maintained regular contact with the young outfielder. The Braves legend sent his congratulations when the Pache was promoted.

“Andruw has seen him a lot more than I have over the past few years,” Snitker said. “Everybody who has seen him has been impressed with this kid. I’m excited to watch him.”