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Martin Prado makes up for lack of offense with bro hugs

May 12, 2013, 9:20 PM EDT

Martin Prado AP

Martin Prado went into today’s series finale against the Phillies hitting .230 with a .639 OPS, which is about 33 percent below the league average according to Baseball Reference. The Diamondbacks acquired Prado in January in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta. The D-Backs’ return on the trade hasn’t been so good at least when you look at the stats, but Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution argues you need to look at the intangibles:

But it took only one pass through the Arizona Diamondbacks circular clubhouse to come across unmistakable evidence that he did not forget to bring his intangibles.

For instance, arriving teammates passing Prado’s cubby had better be prepared for a long bro hug. And the gesture is contagious. The sound of back-slapping is a regular part of the background music of the Arizona clubhouse, the percussion of a team that is more than holding its own in the NL West.

Teammate Eric Hinske said of his new teammate, “Martin’s all about the hug,” then went on to call him “the best player in baseball.”

When statistically-oriented people complain about the prevalence of intangibles in baseball conversations, this is why — this is a complete and utter exaggeration of a mediocre player’s value.

  1. mybrunoblog - May 12, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    I guess I’m old school but I’ll pass on the Bro hug. Let’s just shake hands.

  2. Windu - May 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    the braves dealt from a position of surplus. Freeman is all about the hugs as well.

  3. atlrod - May 12, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Somewhere, in a dark, gritty room, Kevin Towers smiles grimly as Kirk Gibson chomps on a cigar and reads about Prado’s intangibles. “The world is catching on, Gibson. We don’t need all that homerunn bullish*t. We stole the guy who’s the best in the league at the most important stat: hugs. Now go get me a damn title.”

  4. darthicarus - May 12, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Perhaps the D’backs can trade with Detroit to get Quentin Berry. Put his rally clapping together with Prado’s bro hugs & they’re a shoo in for most enthusiastic team in the majors. Heck, they’ll probably all get slurpees after their games too…win or lose.

  5. yahmule - May 12, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Overstating the case just a bit to label Prado a mediocre player.

    • Sign Ahead - May 13, 2013 at 2:13 AM

      Based on his history, I think it’s too early to call him a mediocre player. But Prado’s 2013 performance has been decidedly mediocre.

      As long as the rest of the Diamondbacks keep playing well, I doubt it will matter. Our front office loves to talk about “veteran presence” and “player coaches”. Prado fits into our League of Veteran Leadership quite nicely, alongside luminaries like Tony Clarke, Eric Byrnes and Willie Bloomquist.

      But if the team stops winning? It’ll get ugly. This is an organization that publicly shames its most prominent players in the name of motivation. We might see a whole new wave of “Prado is a mediocre player” stories, fueled by direct quotes from the Diamondbacks front office.

    • mckludge - May 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Yeah, calling him mediocre is harsh. His season to date hasn’t been amazing or even above average, but his career BA is .293. You could argue he’s not worth 10 million a year, though.

  6. insidefastball - May 13, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Upton isn’t exactly tearing it up at the plate either recently. If players were defined by excellence in April then Bryan LaHair would be a legend. Upton simply had a hot start. He is never going to put up Pujols-like numbers. In fact, he is prone to lengthy hot/cold streaks. Prado is a solid player and his numbers will improve.

  7. cur68 - May 13, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Hugs are gritty? Didn’t know that. I’m a handshake guy. I got a talent for it.

  8. foreverchipper10 - May 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Can we really say Prado is Hinske’s “new” teammate? I mean, they are both on a new team this year but last I checked they were teammates the last three years as well.

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