According to reports by ESPN.com, the Atlanta Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks have completed a trade that would send two-time All-Star outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson to the Braves in exchange for infielder Martin Prado, pitcher Randall Delgado and prospects Nik Ahmed, Brandon Drury and Zeke Spruill.
The deal will be completed as soon as pending physicals are completed.
Prado is the prize of the players received from Atlanta. The 6’1, 190 lbs. Venezuelan’s versatility is evident by the many different positions he has played during his seven year major league career. He can play first base, second base, third base and both corner outfield positions. He had a good season last year hitting .301 with 10 home runs and 70 RBI’s in 156 games for the Braves. The 29-year-old Prado is a career .295 hitter and has hit over .300 in three of his last four seasons. The D’backs will benefit from his ability to play multiple positions and the fact that he mashes left-handed pitching, hitting .323 against lefties last season. Prado is a solid contact hitter who doesn’t strike out much (69 K’s last season in 617 at-bats).
One group of D’backs that is happy to see Prado with the organization are D’backs pitchers. Over the last three seasons, Prado has worn out the D’backs pitching staff, hitting .357 with two home runs and 14 RBI’s in 70 at-bats. He has also hit fairly well in Chase Field over that span, hitting .270 at his new home park. Look for Prado to bounce around at a number of different positions throughout the season, but to primarily play third base for the Snakes in the upcoming year.
Delgado is ranked the 3rd best prospect in the Braves organization and 46th overall by Baseball America . The right-hander made 17 starts for the Braves last season going 4-9 with a 4.37 ERA. The 22-year-old Panamanian product also spent time with Class AAA Gwinnett, going 4-3 with a 4.06 ERA in eight starts in the International League. During the winter, the 6’3, 200 lbs. Delgado is pitching in the Dominican Winter League with the Tigres del Licey, where he is 0-4 with a 5.40 ERA in 6 starts. He will have a chance to make the team out of spring training, but look for him to begin the season in Class AAA Reno.
Spruill is a right-handed pitcher who spent last season with Class AA Mississippi of the Southern League. He is rated the 8th best prospect in the Braves system according to Baseball America. The 6’5, 190 lbs. hurler posted a 9-11 record with a 3.67 ERA in 27 starts last season. He was named to the Southern League Mid-Season All-Star team last year. He participated in the highly regarded Arizona Fall League this past off-season and performed well. He recorded a 2-2 record with a 3.63 ERA in seven starts for the Phoenix Desert Dogs. Spruill is best known for his control and durability. The 23-year-old is formerly a second round draft pick by the Braves in the 2008 MLB Draft out of Kell High School in Marietta, GA.
Ahmed is a shortstop that played last season in Class A Advanced Lynchburg of the Carolina League. The 22-year-old infielder hit .269 with 6 home runs and 49 RBI’s last season. The 6’3, 205 lbs. shortstop was named an All-Star in the Carolina League this season and was the Carolina Championship Series Most Valuable Player. Ahmed is a former second round draft pick (85th 0verall) of the Braves in the 2010 draft out of the University of Connecticut.
Drury is a third baseman that played last season with Class A Rome in the South Atlantic League. The 6’2, 190 lbs. Drury is rated the 10th best prospect in the Braves organization by Baseball America. The 19-year-old hit .229 with 6 home runs and 51 RBI’s in 125 games last season. He was drafted by Atlanta in the 13th round in 2010 out of Grants Pass High School in Oregon.