Atlanta Braves outfield prospect Cristian Pache
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves are calling up top prospect Cristian Pache, with outfielder Nick Markakis landing on the COVID-19 injured list in a corresponding move.

Pache, one of the most highly-regarded prospects in baseball, isn’t in Atlanta’s starting lineup on Tuesday.

Braves promote top prospect Cristian Pache

When Pache steps to the plate for his first at-bat, the 21-year-old outfielder will make his MLB debut. Recognized as one of the best outfielders in baseball defensively, he could have a spot in center field for years to come.

Pache’s promotion comes at a moment when the Braves desperately need a spark. All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. is on the injured list with a wrist injury and without a timetable to return.

Atlanta, once considered a World Series contender, has been ravaged by injuries in recent weeks. The club lost ace Mike Soroka to a torn Achilles and All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies is also on the IL with a wrist injury.

Pache ranks among the best prospects in all of baseball. Entering the season, MLB Pipeline rated him as the No. 14 overall prospect and he is a big reason why Atlanta’s farm system ranked seventh in MLB by Baseball America.

He spent a majority of the 2019 season at the Double-A level and played extremely well. Across 104 games, Pache posted a .278/.340/474 slash line with 11 home runs and eight stolen bases. After making the jump to Triple-A, Pache recorded a .274/.337/.411 line in 105 at-bats.

On the 20-80 scouting scale, with 80 marking an elite tool, Pache received a 70 grade for his speed, fielding ability and arm strength. While his hit tool and power are less developed, he has the potential to become a five-tool outfielder and a star for the Braves.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick