Martin Prado is currently the league leader in hits at 73, which is eight ahead of the next highest hit total of 65 from Ryan Braun. The Brewers have yet to play today, so Prado’s lead may be cut short a bit by the end of the day.
Prado’s performance at the top of the Atlanta Braves lineup has been a key to their current first place standing in the National League East. The Braves are 15-4 since Prado has been placed in the leadoff spot, and while some of that can be credited to Jason Heyward being moved up in the lineup, Prado has certainly performed admirably as the first hitter in a now potent Atlanta lineup.
Since moving to the leadoff spot, Prado is batting .360/.393/.520 with 2 homers, 6 doubles, and 6 walks while striking out just 5 times in 81 plate appearances.
Prado has been an extremely reliable member of the Braves lineup throughout the season, but the question remains… Does Martin Prado deserve to make the N.L. All-Star team?
The second base position has been surprisingly strong in the NL this season with your regulars Chase Utley, Dan Uggla, and Brandon Phillips posting strong numbers once again and former Brave Kelly Johnson having a career year.
In terms if wOBA, Prado currently ranks fifth in the NL behind the aforementioned players. He is only a point behind Phillips so they are basically even in terms of offensive production. Brandon hits for more power while Martin gets on base at a better rate, and on base percentage weighs a bit more in wOBA.
Prado has been stellar offensively, but there have actually been better players in the NL at his position. However, as Dave O’Brien of the AJC reports, the manager of the NL All-Star team, Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies, is “high on Prado.” In my eyes, this pretty much means Prado will get in as the manager selects a certain amount of players. Manuel understands how important Prado has been to the Braves and even though I am not too fond of the “hit” category, many still are and look at it as an important stat in measuring talent.
Basically, you can’t go wrong with a combination between any of the five elite second basemen in the NL.
Nobody is going to be receive more fan votes than Chase Utley, so you can more or less assume he will be elected. Johnson is probably the most deserving, but his streaky performance thus far combined with the Diamondbacks poor record has caused many to overshadow how well he has performed at the plate. Phillips, as previously mentioned, has had similar overall production as Martin Prado and with Manuel seeing Martin more than Brandon and Prado being the NL hits leader, you would have to give the nod to Prado if it came down to those two. Uggla has been a hammer in the Marlins lineup and his defense has been surprisingly reliable this year — I would expect him to make the team as well.
Right now, if I had to guess on who the three — assuming there are three — second basemen to make the All-Star team will be Utley, Prado, and Uggla. Johnson will most likely be snubbed and Phillips will probably just miss making the team, which is becoming a recurring theme for Phillips.
So yes, Martin Prado should and most likely will make the All-Star team.
I wrote this on my blog, but being as this site gets much more hits and the conversation is always booming here I figured I would make my case. I know many are voting for Prado anyway as we are all Braves followers, but this breaks down the numbers a bit more clearly.