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Player Profile #135: Martin Prado | 2B/3B/OF | ARI

There’s nothing flashy about Martin Prado, but when it comes to balanced production you won’t do much better this far down the ranks. Last year he spent most of his time shuffling between 2nd and 6th in the order and while slates him at 6th, I see him doing much of the same shuffling again in 2014.

In his first year in Arizona Prado’s production was rather dependent on some splits. Let’s take a look:

Home 292 7.1% 8.0% .154 .291 .294
Away 317 7.0% 7.9% .117 .274 .283
1st Half 356 6.7% 9.3% .112 .253 .260
2nd Half 253 7.6% 6.1% .166 .324 .326

Those are two very distinct splits for Prado; he struggled away from the friendly confines of Chase Field and also had a tough time getting things going in 2013. For a player who doesn’t excel in any one category for fantasy, his value is tied heavily into his BABIP rates. While his BABIP isn’t drastically different between home (.294) and away (.283), the same cannot be said for his 1st half (.260) and his 2nd half (.326). If we look at his batted ball profile, maybe we can see why his BABIP was so different:

1st Half .260 21.7% 48.6% 29.7% 6.3% 8.3%
2nd Half .326 22.3% 46.6% 31.1% 12.2% 8.1%

Hmm, not really. It seems that Prado was an identical hitter between both halves yet in one he managed a .260 BABIP vs. a .324 in the other. He even made much weaker contact on his flyballs in the second half (12.2 IFFB% vs. 6.3%)! This shows that while Prado may have been a bit lucky in the BABIP department in the second half of 2013 he was far more unlucky in the first half.

We can expect numbers closer to his second half production for 2014.

At A Glance

  • Strengths: BA, K, 2B
  • Neutral: R, RBI, OBP, SLG, OPS, BB, 3B
  • Weaknesses: HR, SB

Players With Similar Fantasy Value

2014 Fantasy Baseball Projection

2014 Projection: 629 BA, .290 BA, 72 R, 14 HR, 77 RBI, 4 SB

Overall Rank: 135 | 2B Rank: 13 | 3B Rank: 13 | OF Rank: 44

He’ll quickly be approaching Michael Young territory, which is to say, if he’s not contributing a .300+ BA his value may start to dwindle as soon as 2015 or 2016.

For 2014, Prado should spend plenty of time hitting anywhere from 2nd in the order to 5th or 6th. This should help him maintain a rather balanced R/RBI total, but will limit his upside in both as well. He has never been a masher at the plate nor a burner on the basepaths, but he’s a lock for double-digit homers and has the capabilities for 4-6 SB.

Where his real value lies is in his batting average and I expect a much more consistent year from him in 2014. He’s a .290-.300 hitter if luck doesn’t get in his way and we have him pegged exactly at .290 for 2014. Add in the fact that he qualifies at both 2B and 3B and you have yourself a solid fantasy asset in Prado. Most likely you’ll be using him at 2B due to his lack of power, but the flexibility is always a welcome thing come the middle of the season.

2015 & Beyond

At 30 years old no one is excited about Prado’s skills getting any better, and, in fact, I’m actually worried about him aging more than most players. Usually players who don’t excel in any one facet of the game tend to lose fantasy value quicker in their old age as their room for error is already smaller than average.

He’ll quickly be approaching Michael Young territory, which is to say, if he’s not contributing a .300+ BA his value may start to dwindle as soon as 2015 or 2016.


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