Minor League Profile: Martin Prado

BravesCenter's Bill Shanks profiles Martin Prado, who has emerged as the Braves' best second base prospect.

2005 Review

Martin Prado started out the season in High-A Myrtle Beach, where he hit .306, 4 home runs, 34 runs batted in, 91 hits in 297 at bats, 9 stolen bases, and a .353 on base percentage. Then the second baseman was sent to Double-A Mississippi, where he hit .280 with 1 home run, 11 RBI, and 40 hits in 143 at bats, along with a .354 OBP. Overall, Prado hit .298 with 4 home runs, 45 RBI, 131 hits in 440 at bats, 20 doubles, 12 stolen bases, 41 walks, and 65 strikeouts between Myrtle Beach and Mississippi.

Myrtle Beach Manager Randy Ingle

"Prado's a baseball player. He's a gamer. He's got great baseball instincts. You watch him play, and he's just got so many things you can't teach a kid - it's just natural instincts. Offensively, he's just a guy that can handle the bat. He can go to right field with the best of them. He can turn on the ball too. He's got a little power. He's gotten stronger. He can hit some laser shots. It's hard to pitch him. But he does the little things, like moving guys over. He does not like to fail. He was very consistent for us. He went through a slump for about a week or so, but he continued to work hard and he got out of it."

2006 Outlook

Prado is one of the most difficult players to project. His coaches seem to love him, but is he a potential starter at second base in the big leagues? He will not be like Marcus Giles, since Prado has limited power. Prado's just a different type of hitter, and he is a hitter. He sprays the ball around very well. Once compared to Roberto Alomar, it's doubtful Prado will develop that power. But the other parts of his game are very similar. Prado is excellent defensively, very smooth at the position. His teammates seem to love his game, and it's obviously he does a lot of things to help his team win. This will be his first spring in big league camp, so it will be interesting to see what Bobby Cox thinks about the 22-year-old Prado, who will more than likely start the year back at Mississippi. Could Prado replace Marcus Giles, if the veteran leaves via free agency in two years? Possibly. Prado has a lot of talent, but his play in Double-A could impact his Braves' future.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. You can email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com.

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