If you recall, Cristian Pache was a last-minute addition to the Phillies’ 2023 roster when he was acquired from the Oakland Athletics at the start of the season in exchange for pitching prospect Billy Sullivan. Known for his speed and defensive abilities, Pache served as one of the Phillies’ extra outfielders during the 2023 season.
Despite seeing limited action, he put together a strong first half of the season. In 32 games, of which he started only 15, Pache had an accumulated batting average of .327 with an OPS of .957, along with eight runs scored, seven doubles, two home runs and eight RBI.
Unfortunately, his great season would be interrupted twice by injuries, as he suffered a meniscus tear in his right knee at the end of April and then landed on the IL again in July with right elbow irritation (due to a loose screw from a previous injury).
Pache eventually rejoined the ballclub for the stretch run as one of the September callups. However, this time around, he struggled mightily over the last month of the season by going just 4-for-35 with four runs scored, three RBI and 15 strikeouts.
At one point in time, Pache was the Braves’ top prospect, as well as the 12th-ranked prospect in all of baseball entering the 2021 season, according to MLB Pipeline. There is no denying that his excellence in speed and defense has been his main playing card, but his offensive potential has yet to materialize at the major league level.
Perhaps giving him a chance to play more in the coming season could finally unleash his potential to become a more substantial overall contributor to the team in 2024.