Over the past month I started to realize how rare of a thing we have in Martin Prado. After the 2009 season I said we should trade Martin Prado because his stock would never be higher than it was then. I have never been more wrong in my life and I've made some horrible decisions before.
Prado was a true MVP candidate before he was injured last season. Prado was putting up a season very similar to Dustin Pedroia's MVP season(Luckily for Pedroia he didn't have Albert Pujols challanging him for the award). Even after the injury Prado put up an outstanding season, with a line of: 15 HRs, 66 RBIs, 100 Runs, 37 XBH. He put up a slash line of .307/.350/.459, which was very impressive. Let's look at Prado's stats before the All-Star break and his upcoming injury. Prado was batting .325/.367/.484 with 10 HRs, 39 RBIs, 61 Runs, and 47 XBH. Compared to Pedroia's pre All-Star break during his 2008 MVP campaign, .314/.357/.458 with 9 HRs, 47 RBIs, 67 Runs, and 38 XBH, Prado compares pretty well maybe even a tad bit better, but the difference was Pedroia raked the 2nd half of the season and Prado cooled down a bit. I'm not saying Prado would have been MVP, he wouldn't have been, I'm just showing how great of a season he truly did have and comparing it to a MVP season of another player. An extremely fun performance to watch all season long and arguably the team MVP(I believe he is but one could make an argument for Heyward or McCann) was Martin Prado's 2010 season.
Prado's 2010 season was outstanding but his 2011 season could end up potentially better, even with his slow start. Prado has been extremely productive yet again he has been a pest to face as a pitcher as he has seen 496 pitches this past month good for 6th in the MLB. Over the past month Prado has a .381 OBP which is top 30 in the MLB. He has hit for 59 total bases the past 30 days which puts him 6th in the league in that category. Prado is 12th in the MLB with 28 runs and has a top 30 MLB OPS over the past month with a .868 OPS. Prado's current 2011 slash line is .296/.338/.450, which is very impressive especially with his rough beginning of the season. Martin Prado is a damn clutch player if you haven't noticed yet. With RISP he is batting .378/.405/.514 with 22 RBIs. With RISP and 2 outs he is almost as good batting .353/.353/.412 with 9 RBIs. He is a great catalyst to start off the offense as he is batting .307/.358/.545 with no men on. He is not the ideal leadoff man without blow away speed speed, but he is great at leading off because he can get on base and score runs which I'll take any day of the prototype of a leadoff player *cough cough Nyjer Morgan cough cough*
Another aspect of Prado's game is his versatility. The guy can play literally every position besides catcher and pitcher and plays most of them exceptionally well. He could've won a Gold Glove at 2B, but Brandon Phillips is a beast on defense. His transition to LF has been unnoticable, and absolute improvement over Melky, Hinske, Diaz etc. last season, and he also plays a very competent 3B when Chipper needs a day off and can play a little bit of 1B every now and then. Prado is also the prototypical team player, he does whatever the team tells him to do, like move from his natural position of 2B to LF, and he does it with out any whinning or complaing to the media like some other players. He is a high character and highly skilled player, could you ask for anything more?
Martin Prado is an exceptional baseball player who can do everything. He plays great defense, everywhere, and he can do everything with the bat. Sure he isn't the prototype of a leadoff man who gets on every once in a while and steals a couple bags but he frequently gets on base and consistently scores runs, not to mention he has some pop in his bat. This just goes to show you how grateful we should be to be blessed with a player like Martin Prado!