At just 20 years old, Mississippi Braves center fielder Cristian Pache is already making a name for himself in the Braves organization.
Pache, the 35th best prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, leads the team with 14 runs batted in, and is tied for second with 9 runs.
He says coming from the Dominican Republic at 16 and leaving his family behind to pursue his dreams, was a big obstacle to overcome.
I sat down with Pache this week, with M-Brave shortstop Ray-Patrick Didder there to translate.
“When he signed it was a little bit hard because he hadn’t left his family behind and he was so young,” Didder said. “When he came over to the US. It was like hard for him because he is far from this family. They don’t speak the same language that they speak back home.”
“When he was growing up. Like when he was little with his dad saw that he had a future in baseball. So he dedicated more time to him practicing and playing and learning, learning him how to play baseball so he can succeed and what he wants to. “
Pache said his dad has always been an Atlanta Braves fan, and of course it was exciting for him to see his son drafted to that organization.
And, like the much of the world, sees quite a few similarities between his son and longtime Braves center fielder Andruw Jones.
“He says his dad is emotional about, since he followed Andrew Jones career and now did it completely with Andruw Jones, his dad feels like he’s Andruw Jones junior.”
“It’s an honor that people are comparing him and Andruw Jones and it was like a big deal to him because they speak a lot and he always gave him advice and they like to have fun out there during spring training.”
Pache spent spring training as a non-roster invitee with Atlanta and learned from former M-Braves like Ronald Acuna Jr.
“He’s a humble, humble guy. He’s always having fun, always happy. And he’s giving advice all the time to Pache and the rest of the guys were together.”
“Some day he will play with Acuna in the big leagues and he’s thanks God to give him that talent, so he can someday play in the big leagues.”