Martin Prado is the perfect Arizona Diamondback. He plays all over the field, he is an excellent presence in the clubhouse and he is in the lineup virtually every day. This is why the organization chose him as the centerpiece in the deal that sent Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves. at 30 years old, Prado still has plenty of solid years left in his Major League career. The next three of them will be spent with the D’backs.
How 2013 went: Perhaps because he was pressing to impress his new team and replace the production of the departed Upton, Prado struggled for most of the first half. Owning a career on base percentage of .345 entering 2013, that number did not go above .300 for good until July 10th. His batting average did not stay north of .250 until July 2nd. After the All Star Break, it was a different season for the Venezuelan native. He heated up in July sporting a slash line of .316/.371/.505. Prado sizzled in August as he was named the National League Player of the Month by driving in 30 runs with a line of .374/.425/.565. It was a successful first season in Arizona as he set a career high in RBI’s with 82 and finished with a line of .282/.333/.417.
Outlook for 2014: Although Prado saw time at four different positions (2B, SS, 3B and LF), expect him to be the team’s everyday guy at third. He spent most of his time there in 2013 and the D’backs have the depth at the other positions to allow him to focus on one spot. When the Snakes made the deal last season, there were many Braves’ fans lamenting the loss of the popular Prado, praising his professionalism. For 2014, I expect that trait to once again show up on a nightly basis at Chase Field. It will begin in Spring Training, an area of the season where Prado had his time cut short last year because of the World Baseball Classic. There will not be a repeat of the extended slump he suffered in 2013. Instead, he will come roaring out of the gate and set career highs in home runs and RBI’s while posting a line similar to 2012’s .301/.359/.438.