It is still early, but it appears Atlanta Braves’ second baseman and hitting sensation Martin Prado is on the inside track of making the 2010 All-Star team.
The Venezuelan native Prado is showing why the Braves parted ways with the talented, but inconsistent Kelly Johnson, who is now playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Prado has had the flair for the dramatic such as hitting the Atlanta Braves’ first grand slam of the season against the Brewers in a recent 8-2 win on May 10th. Incidentally, it was the first gram slam in nearly two seasons for the power-starved Braves’ lineup.
In a May 16th game against Arizona in Atlanta, Prado had his first multi-homer game and collected four hits as the Braves clobbered the Diamondbacks, 13-1.
Every Prado at-bat isn’t a homerun or extra base hit, but it appears he has taken his game to another level and is now among the league leaders in base hits.
Recently, Prado came through in the bottom of the ninth with an opposite field hit to give the Braves a walk-off win versus the Diamondbacks.
Along with being a consistent threat at the plate for the Braves, Prado has been one of the better defensive second basemen in the National League as well. Thus far as of mid-May, he has committed only one error in 2010.
The 6’1, 190 pound Prado is hitting .323 as of May 17th; however he had hit over .400 for most of April before cooling off a little bit earlier this month.
For Prado, he is receiving more at-bats lately because he has been leading off. In recent weeks, the Braves have had a revolving door with the lead-off position.
Nate McLouth has shown signs of snapping out of his season-long slump, but he still hitting under the Mendoza line at .187 as of May 17th. Both Omar Infante and Prado have given the Braves better options at the lead-off spot.
Although the Infante-Prado combo isn’t stealing bases, but they are mighty productive and help the Braves climb out the cellar of the National League East for now.
The 26-year old Prado wasn’t initially seen as an All-Star prospect, but he has always demonstrated good plate discipline throughout his minor league career. However, he did lacked power in his early years. In the offseason, there had been a story that Prado had used a P90X exercise program to get more fit and it seems his offseason conditioning has really paid off in 2010.
Now he is on the threshold of being one of the Atlanta Braves players to represent the organization at the All-Star game in Phoenix this July.