Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prado has become catalyst for Braves' resurgence

During July, who leads the NL in hits and doubles and is tied for third in runs?

Martin Prado (of course), 2nd baseman for the Braves: .351, 9 doubles, 26 hits, 14 runs.

The only other players in baseball who have .350, with 20 hits, 12 runs and 5 doubles in July:

Dustin Pedroia
Shane Victorino
Jimmy Rollins

Also, among all players with at least 100 plate appearances hitting 2nd in the lineup, he is second best, at .357 with a .988 OPS. Almost all of those at-bats have come since the end of June.

He's played well in the past, hitting .320 with over 200 at-bats in 2008, but had not settled into a starting role until recently. It seems like he has settled in there very nicely, in between Nate McLouth and Chipper Jones.

Prado took over the 2nd spot in the lineup in late June when Yunel Escobar was dropped down in the lineup and Prado replaced Kelly Johnson as starting 2nd baseman after Johnson struggled mightily in June.

It's worked very nicely: In July, the Braves have scored the 2nd most runs in baseball, behind only the Angels. In June, they were ranked 26th in runs. They are 13-6 since June 28th and only 4 games out in the weak NL Wild Race. It was not a blockbuster move, but it has had a huge effect on the Braves.

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