Martin Prado’s value goes beyond stats

Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado has had a slow start to the season since returning from injury but he played the hero on Wednesday against the New York Mets.

With the Marlins down 1-0 at the top of the ninth, Prado came up the bat as a pinch hitter. He got on base with a single to center field off Mets closer Jeurys Familia to spark a two-run rally to steal the series on the road with a 2-1 win.

The clutch base hit raised Prado’s batting average to .165 and coming off a 2017 season that was plagued by injury and limited to 37 games. Prado is also in the second season of a 3-year, $40 million deal so trying to unloaded the contract will remain difficult.

However, Prado’s value at this point goes beyond the box score. He’s going to play nearly everyday regardless and is considered the captain of the team. Right now it’s his leadership that is the most value aspect of his game.

“I think Martin always has an impact,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said, “just because of who he is, but it gets stronger as he’s able to play. You know it’s hard to have an impact when you’re not playing.”

Alex Rodriguez detailed the impact of a veteran presence well during last year’s World Series broadcast on Fox, mentioning how Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran would pick up pitching tendencies and relay it to the rest of the team, making them better in the process. Mattingly sees that happening with his young team when around Prado.

“Absolutely they’re learning,” Mattingly said. “They’re learning things that you might not see right away. They’re learning the effects of having a good routine, they you prepare for a game. As you get older, you’ve been through a lot. So when you see a young guy, you’re able to see what he’s going through and you’re able to basically be there to talk to him or to be a good example for. That’s where that effect is.”

There’s still time for Prado’s bat to heat up in time for the trade deadline but if he is still around for the full length of the contract, that’s not a bad thing either.

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About: Tony Capobianco

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Sports Kave senior writer

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