The 2023 season could go a long way to determining Cristian Pache’s future in the majors.
He is certainly going to get a chance to prove himself again next year. His excellent defense has essentially assured him of a spot on the Oakland A’s Opening Day roster. And he is likely to take his place in center that day, giving the A’s the type of defense they need at the position.
Cristian Pache hoping Dominican Winter League success will carry over
The question is whether or not Pache will actually hit at a major league level. He has not done so thus far, posting a career .156/.205/.234 batting line with four homers and eight doubles in his 332 major league plate appearances. Pache was not just one of the worst offensive players in the league last season but also posted the lowest OPS+ of any major leaguer with at least 200 plate appearances.
But the A’s are trying to find reasons for hope. Pache did show moments of improvement last year during his time in Triple-A, although they were not able to translate to the majors. He is also performing well thus far in the Dominican Winter League, with eight hits, including three doubles, in 26 plate appearances. Even more encouraging is the fact that Pache has walked twice with just three strikeouts.
Obviously, this is a small sample size. And the Dominican Winter League is not the majors, no matter how strong the competition may be. But it is a step in the right direction, something that can give the A’s and Pache hope that he can find his way at the major league level and be more than a Quad-A player at best.
Cristian Pache is off to an excellent start in the Dominican Winter League. Maybe, just maybe, he can use this showing to turn the corner.