Braves great Martin Prado Retires at 36

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A little after celebrating his 36th birthday, Martin Prado has announced his decision to retire from Major League Baseball.

These past three seasons, Prado’s missed 195 games with Miami, and it’s apparent his body is no longer cooperating with him. His time with the Marlins has been overlooked, but he’s still been putting up numbers and even hit .305 in 2016. Martin’s best season probably came in 2010 when he was an All-Star for the Braves, hitting .307/.350/.459/.809 with 15 home runs, all while playing about every position on the diamond. He even finished 9th in MVP voting.

Martin’s journey to Atlanta was pretty unique. He taught himself English after being signed by the Braves in 2001, and it took him six years to reach the majors. He showed a lot of promise in his rookie season, hitting .262, but it was his attitude and versatility that made him a fan favorite. Many Braves who came and went through this clubhouse saw Martin as one of the most influential baseball players they ever encountered. His dedication to helping the team has seen him man every position except for center field, pitcher, and catcher (and I promise he would have if he were asked to).

His last season was in Atlanta in 2012; he was the same old Martin: .301, 42 doubles, 10 HR. Unfortunately, he was a casualty of the Justin Upton trade and sent to Arizona as compensation. He bounced around from Arizona to the Yankees, then down to Miami, but he never lost a step until the injury bug bit him. His career .287 average speaks to that, and he’ll finish with an even 100 career home runs.

On a side note, I would be ecstatic if he joined Atlanta’s coaching staff. His knowledge of the game and spirits would undoubtedly benefit this club at any level, and he has future manager written all over him. I hate to see him go, but I’m glad it’s on his terms. Thanks for the memories Martin, and enjoy retirement!

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