From the editor: Smitty wrote this right after the Upton trade. Also: THE EDIT BUTTON IS BACK. All praise goes to Hap, who doggedly tested the functionality. Please thank him.
I am not going to lie. Martin Prado was one of my all time favorite Braves and I am sad to see him go.
Prado was signed as a 16 year old free agent out of Maracay, Venezuela in 2001. After playing a few years of development league ball, Prado joined the Braves organization in 2003.
While never showing a lot of power or speed in the minor leagues, Prado demonstrated that he could hit for average and get on base a decent clip. But there was never any real talk of him being a top prospect.
In 2006-2008 Prado spent most of his time going from AAA to Atlanta and back. Prado just seemed to be one of those filler guys that did a lot of little things okay, but nothing great. In fact, his first claim to fame on Braves Journal was anytime a player miss played a ball, but it was ruled a hit, we called it a Prado.
So in 2009 when Kelly Johnson went down with an injury, no one gave Prado much of a chance to do anything. That may have actually played to his advantage, because Prado not only played very well, he forced Bobby to leave KJ on the bench when he recovered.
Prado continued his excellent play in 2010 and was named to the All-Star team. However, that off season the Braves traded for Dan Uggla and shipped Prado out to left field.
Since then Prado has played just about anywhere he was needed, without complaint. He was what Bobby Cox called a “gamer.” He was always a tough out and played hard. He is the type of player you wish your entire roster was comprised of.
Upon hearing the news, Atlanta resident Elton John, out of grief, updated Candle in the Wind.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Elton John…
Goodbye Martin Prado.
Though I never knew at all,
You once dated a girl I knew.
She said you were really cool.
You crawled out of the farm system
And Bobby whispered into your brain
He sent you out to second
And then he made you change your game
And it seems to me you played your game
Like a man without a position
Never knowing which glove to bring
When Chipper sprained a knee
And I would have liked to have known who
Said you couldn’t play short
You did much better than
Pastorstinky ever did.
Utility man is tough
The toughest role you ever played
Bobby Cox created a supersub
And an All-Star is what you became
Even when you kicked a ball
Oh Mac still lauded you
All that he had to say
Was that Prado was better than you.