Watch out, Justin Upton. Your quest to prove the Arizona Diamondbacks wrong for shipping you off might be a closer contest than first thought.
It might have taken few months, but the desert snakes are finally getting some of their fair return on value in their offseason move to ship off the young star outfielder (not to mention batting champ contender Chris Johnson) to the Atlanta Braves thanks to Martin Prado (and Randall Delgado).
In fact, if it weren’t for the veteran super-utility man, that a postmortem on the trade would have likely shown that is was an unequivocal bust for the Diamondbacks. Fortunately for the sake of the team’s fans (I doubt Kirk Gibson or Kevin Towers is missing him much), that won’t be the case — not while Prado continues to be one of the hottest players in the game in the second half.
Yes, you can safely stash away those disappointing memories of his .253/.303/.365 line through his first 386 PA of the season.
Those replacement level days are long gone. Since coming out of the All-Star break on a mini-tear that saw him put together a .877 OPS in July, the 29-year old has simply been unstoppable in August thus far. You can pick your highlights here, really: he’s failed to get on base just once in his last 15 games and has notched hits in 13 of them, with eight of those being multi-hit performances.
Throw in a couple of four-hit days at the plate, a pair of homers and already six doubles thus far in just 67 at-bats, and that Arizona has seen is transformed .373/.432/.552 hitter this month who is not only matching Justin Upton’s current hot streak in Atlanta (.950 OPS in second half) step-for-step, but is actually exceeding it in terms of value. Prado’s 1.4 fWAR currently ranks tied for fourth among all NL players since the break …which is to say that he’s accumulated all of his seasons’s worth of value for the Diamondbacks in the last month or so.
Could Arizona have used this kind of production earlier in the season? Sure.
Still, with the team at 7-3 in their last 10 and still in the mix for a Wild Card spot at five games back … it’s better late than never, I suppose.