Prado Prepares for Anything
By Tyler Angelo
Martin Prado has been preparing for the possibility of playing a few different positions in the 2015 season. You need to respect Prado’s versatility and desire to be able to immediately succeed wherever he is placed. He has began taking ground balls at second and third base until the Yankees make it more clear where he will be spending most of his time this season. His work ethic is giving the front office the option to pursue numerous different solutions to the 2015 roster. If they sign a second baseman Prado can share time at third base and in the corner outfield positions. The other possibility is the signing of a third baseman to share time with Alex Rodriguez which would give Prado time at second base and in the outfield.
"“I’ve always been doing that. It’s not something new. “I just put myself in a spot where, whatever you need from me, I’ll be there. I can’t lock in with one spot.” (h/t, Mike Axisa, River Avenue Blues)"
In his short time with the Yankees in 2014, Prado played 17 games at second base, 12 games in the outfield, and 11 games at third base. In those games and positions he only had two errors. He makes playing in the major leagues look like playing in the back yard with your friends. His uncanny ability to play any position well is one of the reasons that we traded for him. He can be plugged in at any position and that is essential in a lineup that is often injured or tired because of age. Prado is like the young kid in the nursing home that all of the old people ask for favors.
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Beyond salivating at his versatility and defense Prado has potential offensively too. He has impeccable bat speed that can cover the inner-half of the plate easily. He posts a career .291 batting average and .769 OPS. In his time with the Yankees he put up a .877 OPS which was near Miguel Cabrera‘s .895. No, I am not saying he is Miguel Cabrera or that he is the same caliber of a player. I am saying that he was a key piece of the Yankees at the end of the season and can make an impact with his bat. His 2.1 WAR in his 37 games with the Yankees would have ranked just outside the top 10 for second baseman and in the top 20 for third baseman.
However, in order for Prado to regain his 2012 form where he posted a 5.5 WAR with the Atlanta Braves, he needs to find consistency with his swing. His bat speed creates problems with outside pitches. We saw him numerous times roll over reaching for pitches because of his tendency to pull with his quick hands. Maybe, Derek Jeter takes the hitting coach position and teaches Prado to go to right field?