What does an 80-grade glove in CF look like? Oakland A’s fans are about to find out.
The rebuilding A’s traded away four stars over the past month and acquired a dozen new prospects in return, and among the arrivals is Cristian Pache. He immediately slotted in as one of the team’s top prospects and he got a lot of playing time during the Cactus League, earning not only a spot on the 28-man roster but also a place in the Opening Day lineup.
Pache’s profile revolves around his elite defense. Not many players earn a top-of-the-scale rating for any tool, but that’s how highly his fielding is regarded. We didn’t have to wait long to get a glimpse of it during spring training, as the 23-year-old put up a highlight reel.
Diving into left center:
Diving into right-center:
Cristian Pache lays out for the catch pic.twitter.com/HFB0ukMIaD— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 3, 2022
Or ranging straight back to the wall, while fighting the sun:
This is just the trailer for the movie!— Cristian Pache (@cristianpache25) March 28, 2022
This one was almost a misplay, but he saved it. The ball was hit straight at him and he initially broke in, but when the line drive carried higher than expected he simply leaped a hundred feet into the air to snare it.
Even making the wrong read, he still caught the ball, and the penalty was that it just looked way cooler than it had to. Imagine how amazing his actual top highlights will be.
Will he hit? We’ll see! But Pache is gonna play some bonkers defense while he’s in the lineup, and we already got to watch the trailer over the past few weeks.