Reason for concern with Martin Prado

With so many players on the team struggling, it's a little unfair to single out one guy. Last year Martin got off to a really slow start but had a couple of very hot months and a good second half overall to rescue his season numbers, posting a respectable finishing line.

This year he is off to yet another slow start. But there is something different this time that is pretty concerning to me.

The below graph, plucked from Fangraphs is his GB/FB/LD percentages since 2012. Simply put, his GB rate has never been this high, and his FB rate has never been this low. Thats a sign of a declining hitter, and it's a trend that needs to reverse right away.



Joe C also linked an interesting article at DBBP showing that Prado just takes too many hittable strikes

From 538.

And the worst? Martin Prado of the Arizona Diamondbacks made the correct call on only 62 percent of the pitches he faced. But unlike Pierzynski, who had the worst decision-making season of anyone since 2002 because he hacked too much at pitches outside the zone, Prado comes in last among active players because he wasn’t aggressive enough on pitches inside the zone. The average MLB player offers at about 66 percent of pitches inside the strike zone, but Prado has only swung at 50.8 percent of balls in the zone over the past three seasons. Prado does a good job at avoiding swings on balls outside the zone, but he can’t seem to tell when a hittable ball is coming in over the plate, often committing what statisticians would call false negatives, or Type II errors.

I'm not writing him off. He showed last year he can overcome a cold start. And in fact, Prado has been an extremely streaky player, prone to very long stretches of both poor and excellent production. But the indications here lead me to believe that it may be tough for him to end up above league average as he's not swinging at enough good pitches and when he's making contact, he's hitting more grounders than ever. Maybe Xipoo can dig up some video and images of Prado from last year and this year and do a follow up post to compare his hitting mechanics and see what might have changed.

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