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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 47: Don’t Underestimate Atlanta Braves’ Martin Prado

Fri, Feb 18, 2011

Big Board, Player Projections

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Question: Who leads second basemen in batting average since 2008?

Chase Utley? Robinson Cano? Dustin Pedroia?

Wrong times three.

Actually, Martin Prado leads all two-baggers with a .309 batting clip since 2008. But that’s not all…

In 2010, Prado appeared on track to hit 20 HRs for the first time in his career, until a finger injury forced him to miss nearly three weeks in August, thus zapping his power stroke. He finished with 15 HRs and 100 runs in just 140 games, and at times last season performed as a top-25 fantasy player.

Prado’s uncanny ability to put his bat on the ball gives him a world of opportunity batting in front of Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Dan Uggla. Last season, Prado ranked 11th among qualified batters in swinging strike rate (3.9 percent), and owned the 10th best contact rate (90.5 percent).

With the recent acquisition of Dan Uggla, Prado will be moved to left field this season. The home-grown second baseman has limited outfield experience (a grand total of five games between his minor and major league careers), but avid Braves fan and follower of the site, Josh Kullen, believes Prado will make the transition with ease:

“He’s played every position except catcher and center field with the Braves. Prado is a fighter and a dynamic team player, plus he’s going to get plenty of reps in left field this spring.”

Entering his age-27 season (aka his prime), there’s every reason to believe Prado will produce top-five numbers at the second base position. Rotowire (148 ranking), the Yahoo! “experts” (91 ranking) and Mock Draft Central’s ADP (76.20) have failed to realize this, so consider yourself lucky. Martin Prado is a top-50 asset that comes equipped with second base, third base and outfield eligibility. Draft him with confidence.

2010 stats 651 100 15 66 5 .307
3-year average 469 67 9 49 3 .309
2011 FBI Forecast 675 105 18 70 5 .315


Image courtesy of: Dirk Hansen

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