When the Atlanta Braves made the Justin Upton trade that involved sending Martin Prado to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Braves Nation’s thought on the trade was torn in two….Excitement over acquiring one of the best young outfielders in the game and losing a fan favorite in Prado.
Prado is with the Diamondbacks and hopefully most have moved on by now but were we getting worked up for nothing? Did the Braves management actually know what they were doing when they shipped Prado away? Does the Braves organization already have the next Martin Prado?
I believe the Braves do have a super utility guy, like how Prado was, in Tyler Pastornicky. During the 2013 spring training, Pastornicky has been showing he deserves a spot on the opening day roster. Not only has he been one of the early offensive leaders in statistics (a line of .396/.473/.604), he has also played numerous positions in the field. Playing shortstop, second base and the outfield, Tyler has proven early he can be a future utility man.
In 2006, Prado made his first splash into the majors playing both second base and third base. At the age of 22, Prado was called up the same age as Pastornicky was in 2012. Though Prado didn’t start playing regularly until 2009 when he was 25. During the time in between 2006 and 2009 Prado played first base, second base, third base, shortstop and left field. Pastornicky probably cannot handle some of those positions but it’s very beneficial to have a guy that can play multiple positions and give the starters the time off they need.
Tyler has definitely had a different path getting to where he is today. He won the starting shortstop position last spring training but hit horribly during the first months of the his first season and was later replaced by Andrelton Simmons. Now he came into the 2013 spring fighting for a job. There has been some speculation that the Braves could be willing to trade the 23-year-old but I say hold onto to him, as he could still be a valuable asset to our team.