Rounding the Bases

Man after my heart.

So, July hasn’t been the greatest month for blogging. Lots of going out of town and random events of movies, shopping, and golf have put a little of the kabosh on such things. However, I’ve made a vow to myself to get things going again, but I’m changing some things around. Obviously, the “This Day …” feature will remain every day. Frivolities will now take place on Monday. Tuesdays will have a Hall of Fame post. Wednesdays will hopefully be Weird. Thursdays will now have this post to help round out the week. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will just be random posts. Other than that, I hope to get an extra random post in on most of those days (a third on Monday-Thursday and second on the weekend). I’ve found that numbers go down on the weekends because most people are out doing their thing, so instead of forcing you to really scroll back to find posts from the weekend, I’ll just save them for the week. Sound good? And as always, any suggestions as to things you think I should post on or would like me to post on or have heard of and want me to find out more are always welcome. Just send me an email so I can put it in a folder.

And now, on to my new love affair with Martin Prado.

– Chances are that unless you follow the Braves or have been desperately looking for a second baseman for your fantasy team, you haven’t really heard of him.

Kelly Johnson began the season as the Braves second baseman. He started off a bit slow, hitting only .203/.295/.391, but the walks and power were encouraging. When he went to a scorching May, everything seemed to be working out well. For the month, he hit .295/.333/.495 with an amazing 10 doubles. But Kelly has always been streaky, and as soon as that hot streak ended, a worse cold streak began. His line for June was a ghastly .125/.229/.167. Later, he went on the DL with tendinitis in his wrist, so there seems to be a reason that Johnson was that bad (he goes on streaks, but they usually aren’t that bad). One of the promising young bats was now out of a lineup that didn’t need any more problems.

In stepped Martin Prado. All of this started at the end of June. In the past 28 days, he has hit .374/.441/.556 with 10 doubles and 3 home runs. Other stats:

– For the season, he is .320/.387/.489 in 231 at-bats.

– His K% is 10.8 and his BB% is 9.8. He doesn’t walk a lot, but he doesn’t strike out, either.

– His LD% is 18.9, and adding on the 12.0 for what his BABIP should be, his BABIP of .340 is a
bit high (should be .310). However, his career line drive rate is 20%, so he’s not hitting too over his head.

– His HR/FB of 8.8% isn’t ridiculous at all.

– Usually, batters swing at outside of the zone pitches around 24% of the time. Prado does only 19% of the time.

– His inside the zone contact rate is 95%.

– Defensively, he’s not great at second, but Johnson wasn’t, either. But adding to Prado’s value is that he’s a well above-average first and third baseman. When someone goes down, he can move over and let Johnson (now recovered and hitting well) in the lineup. Versatility is awesome, and today, Chipper gets a day off as Prado moves to third with Johnson at second.

– According to WAR, he’s already worth 2.3 wins.

– He’s always been valuable as a defensive guy off the bench, but what’s changed in his hitting? Take a look at the hit chart. Instead of simply slapping the ball the other way, he’s turning on it and driving it.

He can stay.

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