Frustrated Prado losing sleep over slump

ST. LOUIS – There have been times lately when Martin Prado has gone to the plate feeling as if the opposing team had eight too many defenders on the field.

The Braves left fielder is struggling mightily, and he doesn’t hide the fact  it’s eating at him. He’s hit .220 with one homer and a .273 on-base percentage in 150 at-bats during his past 36 games.

“People think that it’s easy,” he said quietly Sunday morning. “It’s not easy. It’s hard to go to sleep like that. It’s hard.”

After a breakout performance last year, when the former utility infielder made the All-Star team as a second baseman in his first full season as a lineup regular, Prado has had a rough go of it in 2011.

He’s hit .261 with 25 doubles, 11 homers and a .307 on-base percentage in 114 games, after hitting .307 with 40 doubles, 15 homers and a .350 OBP in 140 games in 2010.

In his past 17 games, Prado has a .179 average with just two extra-base hits and two RBIs in 67 at-bats. He got a rest Sunday and Eric Hinske started in left field for the series finale against St. Louis.

“He’ll really struggled,” said Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish, who cited reasons both physical and mental for Prado’s  slump.

The flaw in his swing, according to Parrish, has been a tendency to get the top hand too involved, to snap it up and forward too quickly, resulting in a load of groundouts.

As for the mental side, Parrish said Prado, a notoriously hard worker and perfectionist, has focused too intensely on trying to break out of his slump. He’s gone to bat with too much on his mind.

“A lot of times, when you go through a streak where you don’t get hits, and you’re used to getting hits, all of a sudden instead of thinking if I stay with my swing and just put together good at-bats, hits will come, you start trying to get hits,” Parrish said.

“He started walking to the plate and picking out a hole, almost predetermining where he was going to hit the ball before a pitch was made. He’s made up his mind that he’s going to hit the ball over there and they throw a pitch inside, he’s tied up. Instead of reacting and being an athlete.”

Parrish said he’s told Prado just to go up and “let it go” with his swing, hit the ball hard and not worry about where.

“He’s got bat speed, an athletic body, fast hands,” Parrish said. “The problem is, those fast hands are working against him now. He just sort of shortened everything up and he’s trying to get hits, and he’s so short that this [top] hand here is coming over and making him hit a ton of ground balls.

“The more you don’t get hits, the more you try to get hits.”

A broken finger that slowed Prado at midseason in 2010 was nothing compared to the staph infection in his right calf that sidelined him nearly six weeks this season in June and July.

Prado has hit .243 with a .613 on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) and three homers in 53 games since returning from that ordeal, after hitting .277 with a .762 OPS and eight homers in 61 games before it.

But he’s never used that as an excuse.

“There’s some days that I feel good and pick [the ball] up good, and hit it hard but right at somebody,” he said. “Every time that happens, I go back to my negative, where I feel like there’s, like, 17 guys playing defense.”

49 comments Add your comment

STRETCH

September 11th, 2011
6:15 pm

MAYBE HE NEEDS TO GET SOME SLEEP AND THEN HE MIGHT PLAY BETTER!

Wake up!

September 11th, 2011
6:20 pm

Wake up Braves and Falcons!!

Pogo

September 11th, 2011
6:26 pm

He is below average major league infielder, slightly below average major league outfielder who had one decent year at the plate. He is and always will be a utility player and he is now playing at the level of his abilities. We should have moved him at the deadline when someone might have overpaid.

Kat

September 11th, 2011
6:30 pm

Prado has always seemed to be one of the hardest working guys on the team. Maybe he needs some Freeman goodluck hugs.

Dennis Reynolds

September 11th, 2011
6:34 pm

Our most natural hitter has been corrupted by this terrible excuse for a hitting coach. I don’t know who to hate more, LP or Fredi.

Who Me?

September 11th, 2011
6:36 pm

At least SOMEONE on this team is taking it to heart and losing some sleep over their performance, it sure as hel* isn’t management.

Martin, keep the hard work ethic going my friend, it will pay off. These things don’t last forever and I’d darn sure rather see you hot in October….

YE19

September 11th, 2011
6:58 pm

One decent year at the plate, Pogo? Do you look at career numbers, both major and minor league, before you post such nonsense? It’s apparent you don’t.

Linebrink's Security

September 11th, 2011
7:01 pm

“Frustrated Prado losing sleep over slump”

it’s just baseball Marteen, suck it up. Some people with worse real life problems would laugh at you for losing sleep over a game

Richard

September 11th, 2011
7:44 pm

@ dennis reynolds Hate them both it works for me

bobbymahlon

September 11th, 2011
8:38 pm

Pogo : How about these numbers for Prado.
2008-.320
2009-.307
2010-.307
In 2007 he was the runerup for the batting title at Richmond in the triple A Internatioal League.
So check your facts before you spout off.

bravesfaninNashville

September 11th, 2011
8:50 pm

Now we know exactly why the Braves pursued Uggla… We traded another utility player in Infante who has proven to be just that with a below average year in Florida and Dunn who we could easily give up with EOF and Ventors in our pen. We really get on Frank Wren for the Lowe and KK signings and many on the this blog rode him hard about giving up Infante and that Prado was an all-star second baseman and that we needed an outfielder instead. Then when Uggla pressed and struggled early Wren took more wrath over the extension. Wren looks like a genius now…. Where would we be without Uggla?

bobbymahlon

September 11th, 2011
9:04 pm

Also Pogo : Do you call being on the All Star team a decent year.

George Stein

September 11th, 2011
9:16 pm

Wake me up when he takes a walk.

JJ

September 11th, 2011
9:24 pm

Prado,I believe have seen what has happened to other guys that look and speak as he do get screwed over by the Braves especially when it’s time to be paid and he is pressing because he don’t know if he will be here next year with Chipper stating he will be back.There is already talk on the radio about trading Prado and with the Braves history with Hispanics,he probably will be traded.Hey Prado,relax,and if you are not here you will be fine.Just ask Edgar,Infante,Escabor,and my Boy,Andruw.Have fun Man,and do what you do best,hit the darn ball.Chipper wanted to hit #2,so as they say in the movies,”FORGET ABOUT IT”

nd brave

September 11th, 2011
9:40 pm

martin prado is the man and he has the work ethic and determination to get out of this slump… go PRADO!!!

panamajack

September 11th, 2011
9:48 pm

Prado isn’t alone, Uggla is becoming his old uggly self batting just .195 in the last 10 games, Heyward has been in a slump for the last year and a half, A-Gone isn’t in a slump, he just can’t hit period, Big Mac is in a slump as well, that only leaves Bourn, Chipper and Freeman so what are you going to do. You could bat them togather at the top of the order but leaves the rest of the order more or less automatic outs or you could spread them through out the order but that isn’t going to work. Frist thing I would do is Fire Parish and put Pendleton in there until they can get a real batting coach next season, maybe he could help some of them

Kimbrel rocks

September 11th, 2011
9:57 pm

love this guy——a true ballplayer dan uggla’s slump should be evidence that he will break out of it. just needs time. MAJOR asset to this team. if martin gets going…we could seriously make a move for a title.

DC Brave

September 11th, 2011
10:06 pm

The game is Prado’s life. He’ll find it.

Fire Larry Parrish

September 12th, 2011
12:46 am

“He’ll really struggled,” said Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish.

I think this quote is a great measure of Larry Parrish’s intelligence.

jester

September 12th, 2011
7:07 am

I keep thinking the braves are gonna blow it and not make the playoffs but then I think doesnt matter cause they cant beat the phillies this year anyway (or probaley the brew Crew either for that matter)

klmbbfan

September 12th, 2011
7:24 am

Go chop wood because with that swing that is all it is good for. By the way you haven’t noticed every pitcher starts you with a fastball down the middle and you look at it surprised. Prado you are in the majors please prepare yourself as a hitter mentally.

LWB

September 12th, 2011
8:24 am

I’ll never understand how Prado hits even close to .300 with the way his front foot goes towards third on every stride. I don’t know why any pitcher would come inside on him.

Tom B.

September 12th, 2011
8:58 am

hope you guys haven’t made plans for the postseason…………..this team is dead!

Lobosolo

September 12th, 2011
9:20 am

Fire Larry Parrish…. as your own comment is a reflection of your own intelligence… LWB, what were your career stats in the bigs? Tom B. Delta is ready when you are…. go… please… Dennis Reynolds… you’d think you’d have had the sense by now to be managing, playing, and coaching all at once on some club in the bigs, considering how omnipotent you are about baseball….

Please, thumbsuckers…. do us all a favor and cry on down the road to somewhere else…

LWB

September 12th, 2011
9:40 am

Lobosolo…………Board Defender! Coming soon to a message board near you! Overreactions coming soon!

jch

September 12th, 2011
11:50 am

jj – are you implying the Braves organization is against Hispanics?

I guess that’s why they hired Fredi to manage the team….

That’s also why they’ve put in place one of, if not the most, extensive scouting network in Latin America….

PhillyGuy

September 12th, 2011
12:04 pm

Can the Braves please win at least 1 game this series. I have season tickets to the Phils and if the Phillies sweep the Astros on the road this week and the braves get swept the Phillies will clinch the division on the road. So please Braves win at least 1 so I can see the Phillies clinch. THanks

2 hot scott

September 12th, 2011
12:19 pm

The team didn’t look good all week, offense, defense, pitching. Yeah, it’s easy to blame Parrish, but these guys are pros and have been playing long enough that they should know by now how to make adjustments at the plate. Heyward and Freeman have excuses, they’re 22, but Uggla and Gonzalez don’t. Gonzalez looks like he doesn’t have a clue, and Uggla is flying open on every pitch as he did in the first half on the season. Alex needs to start taking those pitches on the outside part of the plate to center and right, and realize those homers he was hitting in Toronto last season were a fluke. Speaking of adjustments, why doesn’t Lowe realize that when he throws his sinker at less than a 3/4 arm angle, it’s going to flatten out and be hit hard. Sending him to the pen is not the answer, leaving him off the playoff roster (if we make the playoffs), and trading him to whomever is the best answer. So, what does the rotation look like next year? Right now, you have 8 starting pitchers (Lowe, Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, Beachy, Minor, Delgado and Tehran), and another year in the minors, isn’t going to help Minor, Delgado or Tehran, so, in which direction do you go this winter? Trading one, two or three of these guys would net you alot. You don’t need young pitching, you’ve got that. Your minor league shortstop prospect, Pastornicky hit a combined .314 at AA & AAA this season and only struck out 45 times in 459 at bats. You’ve got a catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, and all the outfield spots covered, and the bench is solid. So, how do you improve this team? Do you trade for a 3rd base or power hitting left field prospect, because you know that next year is Chipper’s last? The Braves’ hot stove rumors will keep us warm all winter…

2 hot scott

September 12th, 2011
12:21 pm

DOB, thanks for passing along my hitting tips to Chipper earlier this year…

Lobosolo

September 12th, 2011
1:02 pm

Can you answer my question, LWB? Can you tell me your numbers in your major league career?

Mark's for the Braves

September 12th, 2011
1:15 pm

The one player I don’t worry about is Prado. He will come around. I just hope it isn’t too late and he has a miserable playoffs by still being in his slump. He needs to stop thinking and just see the ball and hit it where it is pitched.

tjhook

September 12th, 2011
1:22 pm

Prado’s troubles have a lot to do with batting behind Bourn. Bourn obviously needs opportunities to steal bases, but that has messed with Prado’s timing. I actually thought he would be better batting third because pitchers would either challenge him directly or pitch away, which is an easy adjustment for Martin to make. To all of Prado’s critics, he is a MUST for this team to have: can play virtually any field postiion AND hit anywhere in the order. Remember this guy hit leadoff and did it fairly well.
My question is has anyone on the staff ever considered putting Constanza in the two hole. He’s a slap hitter so he just needs to make contact with the ball and would not be compromised by Bourn’s stealing attempts, similar to when Micheal Tucker played behind Kenny Lofton and Deion Sanders. Bourn and Constanza would be a nice 1-2 punch to put in this week, especially since Chipper is swinging a hot bat (more run potential).

Martin Prado

September 12th, 2011
1:30 pm

to all of you mo fo’s “say hello to my little friend”

Bro

September 12th, 2011
1:35 pm

JUST HIT THE DAMN BALL. IT CAN NOT GET WORSE. TOO MUCH THINKING IS LIKE TOO MANY HANDS IN THE STEW. SEE THE BALL–HIT THE BALL. A VERY SIMPLE GAME. SO DO NOT MAKE IT COMPLICATED. IF BOURN STEALS A BASE HE STEALS A BASE. IT IS LIKE THE OLD MAN SAID ON HIS WEDDING NIGHT WHEN HIS SON CAUTIONED HIM TO BE CAREFUL AFTER MARRYING A 21 YEAR OLD. IF SHE DIES SHE DIES. SO HIT THE DAMN BALL.

Chop101

September 12th, 2011
1:53 pm

Hate to see Prado struggle but the man is built to overcome these sorts of things. His passion and work ethic alone will figure something out eventually. I just hope that it comes before the playoffs. And yes, I do believe this team will make the playoffs even after virtually getting swept on this past road trip (save for the Mets makeup games). They just need a spark to set them off. Look for Prado to make huge contributions to any successful Playoff run the Braves put together.

Ernesto

September 12th, 2011
2:07 pm

Martin thinks that God is going to help him hit the ball. He should stop kissing his gold chain cross as he does all the time. It does not work and would not help hitting better. If your hitting skills are good then you don’t need to do it. Just remember how Gov Perry decided to get rain in Texas 8 months ago….

jayvee

September 12th, 2011
2:58 pm

Am not too worried about Prado. In fact, I think he’s going to burst out of his slump and get the Braves back on track. He’s too clutch to do otherwise, and he’s overdue.

Lakedawg

September 12th, 2011
3:14 pm

Good! Get some hits and get some Zs.

I’m glad he cares.

Lakedawg

September 12th, 2011
3:15 pm

Ernesto-

What does Rick Perry have to do with the Braves? Take it somewhere else.

Mitchell

September 12th, 2011
3:39 pm

Fire Larry Parrish

September 12th, 2011
12:46 am

“He’ll really struggled,” said Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish.

I think this quote is a great measure of Larry Parrish’s intelligence.

Larry Parrish sucks but that’s probably just a typo.

Mitchell

September 12th, 2011
3:46 pm

Has anybody stopped to notice that he plays both third base and left field and plays pretty much every day, unlike Chipper and others who aren’t burdened with nearly as much responsibilities?

He’s stretched thin.

He was the All Star starting second baseman last year for the National League.

Is it possible that asking your All Star second baseman to play two different positions the following season could be a little much?

Home runs aside, Dan Uggla hasn’t done sh!t to compare with what Martin has contributed since becoming an every day starter with the Braves.

Mitchell

September 12th, 2011
3:48 pm

That should say “nearly as much responsibility.”

Or “nearly as many responsibilities.”

What a fool I am.

Mitchell

September 12th, 2011
3:50 pm

PhillyGuy

September 12th, 2011
12:04 pm

Can the Braves please win at least 1 game this series. I have season tickets to the Phils and if the Phillies sweep the Astros on the road this week and the braves get swept the Phillies will clinch the division on the road. So please Braves win at least 1 so I can see the Phillies clinch. THanks

Go to hell.

Dave P

September 12th, 2011
4:07 pm

I hate it that Prado is losing sleep over this. Even though, baseball and the Braves obviously mean a lot to him and most of us, it’s just his job. I’m glad to see he cares so much about it, but i hope he busts out of his slump and gets back to being himself mentally. Life is too short and too precious to have your job carry over into your personal life and mental health. Good luck, Martin.

Mister Frisky

September 12th, 2011
4:21 pm

Could use some hot stove right now.

alexcox

September 12th, 2011
9:12 pm

alexcox

September 12th, 2011
9:20 pm

el problema es WREN el es el responsable d la nesecidades su carta d triunfos no consiguio el bate d esquina diestro no consiguio hayuda al bulpen y estos fueron sus refuersos PARISH .lugo KK,LINEBRANIC,protocor,MATER,helmsMARTINES ESTO ES lo q a aportado nada nunca llegaremos ala cima co esa categoria d relutamiento

alexcox

September 12th, 2011
10:30 pm

porfavor boten a WREN

hightopfadeout

September 17th, 2011
7:32 pm

Ernesto your such an idiot and have obviously never played sports kissing his necklace is his preparation I say a quote other guys like to touch their heart touch their belt buckle kiss their bat kiss their batting gloves and NECKLACES…. Your such an idiot so what if he wants god to fix his swing obviously since he’s made it this far whatever he’s been doing has worked so far and has worked out a lot better than what you’ve done …..listen he can fix his swing you can fix being a arrogant ignorant idiot a-hole leave him alone and just keep putting up good at bats martin and everythingll fall into place if you continue to hold onto your beliefs don’t let people bring you down you can only go up from here GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!! October here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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