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Martin Prado Will Do Just Fine

Martin Prado had eligibility all over the field in 2013, but it’s likely that most owners used him at shortstop where he had the most value. In his first year as a Diamondback, Prado’s Steamer projections pegged him at .294/.351/.445 with 13 home runs, 84 runs, 66 RBI, and eight steals. As an outfielder that’s rather underwhelming, but as a shortstop, that represents a classic ‘checking off all the respective boxes’ in standard rotisserie leagues.

And in this particular case, Steamer ought to give themselves a pat on the back. On the season, Prado produced a .282/.333/.417 slash line with 14 home runs, 82 RBI, 70 runs, but just three steals in eight attempts. While that line won’t bunch up your underpants, it was good enough for 8th overall for shortstops according to the numerical acumen of Zach Sanders’ brain.

In terms of return on investment, 8th is probably about fair value. His ADP coming into the season was anywhere between 90th and 116th depending on the format. I’ve always felt that Prado’s production wasn’t quite worth what it took to procure his services in terms of cost or draft pick, but his ability to contribute across the board in counting stats really is pretty attractive. Using the above link as context, Ben Zobrist is just spitting distance away from Prado and his ADP sat in the 50’s pre-season.

His batting average was a tick below his career rate, but when you look at Prado’s hit trajectory, and there’s really nothing to get particularly worked up about:

2011 14.60% 50.80% 34.60% 9.80% 7.50%
2012 22.80% 48.00% 29.10% 7.40% 6.20%
2013 21.90% 47.80% 30.30% 8.80% 8.20%

The HR/FB rate might be a tad high for a guy with Prado’s power profile, but it’s worth noting that hitting at Chase Field is far friendlier than Turner Field. For right handed batters, the park factor for home runs was 103 to 93, respectively (according to our GUTS! page). And on the issue of hit trajectory and batting average, his xBABIP was .322 — so it’s probably safe to say he was getting a raw deal on a couple bouncing balls.

Steamer has him for .290/.345/.432 with 13 home runs, 89 runs, and 67 RBI to go with seven stolen bases for next season. So basically a very Martin Prado kind of year. It’s worth noting that seven stolen bases would be the second highest total of his career. For fun, let’s graph his stolen bases for each season he’s been a regular:


Yeah, so don’t count on him stealing 17 ever again.

The elephant in the room, or on your screen or whatever, is the fact that Prado likely loses shortstop eligibility next season, having only played the position for a solitary inning in 2013. I do know formats in which that would still qualify him, but it’s pretty fringey. For most of you, Prado is going to have the most value at second base. Should you already have a second baseman, well then, you have yourself a nice little piece of trade bait.

In sum, Martin Prado is very likely going to chug right along being Martin Prado. All season long he’ll underwhelm you and then you look up and he’s produced a perfectly acceptable stat line. And if you’re looking to just check the boxes off at second base and move on to other needs, see if you can grab him somewhere in the 10th or 11th round or pick him up for something around $9 or $10 bucks.