Atlanta Braves Face Old Friend in Martin Prado
The two teams completed a blockbuster deal this offseason that sent Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to Atlanta, while Prado and Randall Delgado to Arizona. While there was a strong buzz with the acquisition of a two-time All-Star in Upton, many fans were saddened to see Prado involved in the trade.
Prado became a fan favorite during his seven seasons in Atlanta. He played multiple positions, hit up and down the lineup and never complained. In 2012, Prado played first, second, third base, shortstop and left field. After the 2010 season, the Braves acquired Dan Uggla to play second base, which forced Prado to switch primarily to left field. It was that selfless attitude and reliable production that made fans fall in love with Prado.
Prado never publicly criticized Braves’ management following the trade to Arizona. However, you have to wonder about the impact the team switch has had on him. Prado is having a down season to this point, hitting just .223 with a .272 on-base percentage, four home runs and nine RBIs.
Meanwhile, his counterparts in the trade have flourished overall in Atlanta. Despite recent struggles, Upton leads MLB with 12 home runs, and Johnson has settled into a platoon situation by posting a .307 batting average.
This is Prado’s first season not playing in Atlanta. It has seemingly impacted his play throughout the first month of the 2013 season. Nevertheless, Prado will not complain and continue to play the game hard day in and day out.
That’s what made the fans love him, and why he will be greeted by many old teammates before the Braves and Diamondbacks take the field for the series opener.