Third baseman Martin Prado had one of his most productive seasons as a member of the Miami Marlins last year. Prado was a consistent hitter in a Marlins lineup that was constantly changing. He was also prominent voice for the team when Jose Fernandez passed away in September.
His leadership was on display in the final game of the season when he was a player-manager for the Marlins. Prado’s consistency and leadership was rewarded when the team signed Prado to a three-year contract extension. Prado never saw his batting average go below .270 except for the month of September, when he batted .226.
Prado, 33, had a batting average of .300 or higher from June until August. The righty batted .424 against lefties, and he compiled a solid .274 average against righties. For the season, Prado batted .305 with 75 RBI’s and a .776 OPS. The Venezuelan native posted a WAR of 3.8, which was his highest since 2012, when he had a 5.4 WAR with the Atlanta Braves.
He also had 37 doubles and 49 walks, which were his highest since that 2012 season. His strikeout rate of 10.5% was his lowest since 2013, when it was 8.0% with the Arizona Diamondbacks. His walk rate of 7.4 was an increase from 2015, and his BB/K rate of 0.71 was also an increase from his first season in Miami. Prado’s BABIP of .331 was his best BABIP he’d put up since 2008.
Prado was very durable in 2016, as he never spent significant time on the disabled list. The one blemish that stands out is that Prado did see his number of double plays grounded into increase from nine to 24 in a span of one year. Overall, these stats indicate that Miami made a very intelligent move when they traded for Prado in 2014.
His steady bat and his veteran leadership is something that Miami truly values. Prado’s contact hitting offers a nice balance to Miami’s lineup, and thus, Prado should continue to be an everyday third baseman in 2017.
On a young team, Prado’s leadership will be vital for a squad that will experience a lot of change next year. Prado will be important to the Marlins success next year, as his leadership and consistency will be pivotal for Miami.