Tagged: Kelly Johnson

The Unsung Hero

Martin PradoMartin Prado not only has been Atlanta‘s hero in the last few games, but he has been for the entire season.

It is easy to disregard the earlier part of the season and replace it with the previous two games, in which Prado has gone 6-9 with four runs scored, two doubles, one home run and six RBI. In the last two games Prado has improved his season batting average 25 points, yes, 25 points. It is easy to overlook his complete body of work when he provides an outstanding two game stretch.

When you look past Prado’s recent success you will find a mediocre .280 batting average with 3 home runs and nine RBI. His offense has been above average, but it is his defensive versatility that really gives this young man value. Prado has played in at least 10 games at three different positions. His ability to play first, second, and third base give him value. Seeing his recent success gives me flashbacks of another versatile player named Mark DeRosa.

Mark DeRosaI believe it is safe to
say that the second base job is Prado’s to lose at this point. He has
proven time and time again that he can play solid defense and now his
offense is coming around when given the chance to play on a regular
basis.

Prado’s recent success has not only drawn whispers from fans,
but it has caught the eye of manager Bobby Cox. “He’s too hot to take
out,” Cox stated after Prado’s walk-off single against the Phillies Tuesday night.
If Prado continues to succeed Kelly Johnson will remain on the bench. Johnson has had plenty of opportunities and rarely has been able to cash in. Now it’s Prado’s turn.

Till next time,

Ben

Help On The Way?

It should be interesting to see if the Braves can actually land an impact bat. I think it is pretty clear that without another bat Atlanta’s sickly offense won’t be able to back their strong starting pitching.

Jeremy HermidaI have read that Atlanta has shown interest in Florida’s Jeremy Hermida, but I don’t think that makes much sense. He has been compared to Jeff Francoeur, which I’m sure doesn’t make Atlanta fans very excited. He has more power than Francoeur but doesn’t play as well defensively. People are hard on Francouer’s offense but we often forget that he plays Gold Glove defense year round.

Hermida hits for about the same average but has shown more power with 8 home runs. Francoeur however has driven in more runs. I value runs driven in over home runs, but that’s just me.

I don’t see Atlanta bringing in Matt Holliday as a rental. It would end up being a Mark Teixeira debacle all over again. I would rather Atlanta go for a mid level outfielder such as maybe an Alex Rios over a huge bat such as Holliday. If the Braves can’t bring in a big bat I think Martin Prado has shown as of last night that he can produce. Sure, he isn’t a big bat but he is an upgrade over Kelly Johnson. Atlanta has gotten just about nothing from Johnson so anything from that position could be a huge boost.

Yunel EscobarJohnson has been inconsistent at best, both offensively and defensively. Prado is quickly proving he can play above average defense as well as hit for a decent average and drive in runs. If he plays anything like he did against the Phillies for the rest of the year the Braves may not need another bat.

Unfortunately as Prado shines when on the field, Yunel Escobar keeps giving the Braves reasons to trade him. It really is unfortunate that someone with so much talent can’t play the game the right way. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Escobar go by the end of the week. He has been arguably the most productive offensive player for the Braves but just can’t seem to see that his behavior both on and off the field doesn’t make up for his production on it. It really is a shame to see a potential superstar waste his career like this.

Till next time,

Ben