Can Martin Prado Make the Difference for the Miami Marlins in 2019?

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 05: Martin Prado #14 of the Miami Marlins hits a three-run home run in the second inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 05: Martin Prado #14 of the Miami Marlins hits a three-run home run in the second inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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At 35 years of age, third baseman Martin Prado is now the official “old man” of the Miami Marlins organization.

Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 206 of 286.

Martin M. Prado is a 6’1″, 170 lb. third baseman from Maracay, Venezuela. He’s one of 30 major leaguers to hail from the city, all in the last 30 seasons. Born on October 27th, 1983, he was signed through free agency by the Atlanta Braves on February 13th, 2001. With the retirement of reliever Brad Ziegler and the release of farm hand Sean Burnett, Prado is nearly two years older than the next oldest in the organization, pitcher Wei-Yin Chen.

For five seasons, Prado worked his way up through the Braves system, making his major league debut in 2006. In seven seasons with the club, he slashed .295/.345/.435 in 683 contests, with 52 home runs and 286 RBI.

Prior to 2013 Spring Training, the Braves traded Prado with Zeke Spruill, Randy Delgado, Brandon Drury and Nick Ahmed to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Justin Upton and Chris Johnson. In 261 games over a season and three-quarters with Arizona, Prado slashed .278/.326/.398 with 19 round-trippers and 124 RBI. On July 31st, 2014, the Diamondbacks traded Prado to the New York Yankees for Peter O’Brien and cash. Yes, that Peter O’Brien.

Prado finished out the 2014 campaign with the Yankees, slashing .216/.336/.541 in 37 games, with seven homers and 16 RBI. After the season, New York traded the then 31-year-old third baseman to the Miami Marlins, with David Phelps for Garrett Jones, Nathan Eovaldi, Domingo German, and $6 million. Read about that trade in-depth, here. If you don’t feel like reading that, long-story short, the Marlins won the trade with a $37 million surplus value more than the Yanks.

Over Prado’s first three seasons with the Miami Marlins, he appeared in a total of 319 games, providing a solid .975 fielding percentage at the hot corner. He slashed a .292/.342/.401 line, dead-smack in the middle of his career figures despite missing all but 37 games of the 2017 season. He collected 19 home runs and 150 RBI.

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A left-hamstring strain left Prado on the disabled list to open the 2018 season, and he didn’t join the team until April 27th, when he went 0-for-4 in a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Prado quickly fell below .200, and on May 25th went back on the DL with another strain to his left-hamstring.

Prado rejoined the team on July 5th, and didn’t break .200 until July 8th. In that game, a 10-2 victory against the Washington Nationals, Prado went four-for-six with two runs, a double, and an RBI.  He played in a total of 54 contests last season, collecting multiple hits in 14 of them as the Marlins went 23-31 in his appearances. Prado slashed .244/.287/.305 over the course of the entire season, with 18 RBI. His OPS+ of 69 was the lowest of his career, and lower than any club regular excepting Lewis Brinson‘s 62. Despite that, he finished above replacement level, with a 0.3 WAR. This was mostly due to his continuing solid defense, over 20 points above the National League average with .981.

In 2019, Prado will be entering the final season of his six-year, $73 million deal. A lot of people have him earmarked for a future big-league managing gig, and the Miami Marlins could do far worse than retaining him for just such a purpose.

Next. Cason Sherrod's 2018 Miami Marlins Review. dark

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