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martin-prado-or-adam-jones | January | 2012 Articles

Martin Prado, or Adam Jones?

Written by Joe Lucia on .

These god forsaken Adam Jones rumors JUST WON'T STOP, so I figured I'd briefly touch on them. When it comes down to Martin Prado or Adam Jones on the Braves, the two players are rather similar. Prado made $3.1 million in 2011, and has two more seasons of team control. Jones made $3.25 million, and also has two more seasons of control left. 

Neither player has great plate discipline. Jones walks at 4.8% for his career, while Prado is at 6.6%. Prado strikes out a lot less, 11.3% of the time, compared to Jones and his 19.7% rate. Jones has more power, with a .161 ISO compared to Prado's .141.

Defensively, Prado is a +12 over his career at first, second, third and left field (and a brief tenure at short), with +4 of that coming in the outfield. Jones is a +16 in his career, all coming in the outfield. He had a positive mark every year of his career until last season, when he was a -9 in center.

If Jones is shifted to left field, I think he provides a much higher ceiling defensively than Prado, a converted infielder. Remember, the majority of Jones' defensive numbers have come in center, with more ground to cover. He could be a phenomenal defender in left, where he's a +3 in just 119 innings.

If you look at just the past three years on offense (which excludes the early part of each player's career when they were still maturing), the battle becomes a little closer. Jones holds a slight edge with a .338 wOBA compared to Prado's .334. Their walk rates also come a little closer, with Jones at 5.0% and Prado at 6.3%. The ISO gap also widens, with Jones improving to .174 and Prado remaining relatively constant at .144.

Looking at things from an overall player standpoint, Prado's versatility gives him an edge over Jones due to his ability to play three of the four infield positions. But the Braves are looking for a left fielder right now, not a bench player. If you compare them just as outfielders, I'd give Jones the edge due to his potential superstar defense in left. We know he's historically been good in center, and that should translate well to left.

Neither guy is an ideal fit due to both players having an adversity to the base on balls. But I think in an even, one for one swap, Jones would be the player I'd prefer. Apparently, the Orioles want more than just Prado for Jones, which is a deal I'd balk at. In a straight up deal though, I'd probably end up taking Jones. 
4 comments
padmanjones
padmanjones moderator

Jones' ceiling > Prado's, too.

baldheaded1der
baldheaded1der

I realize that my statement is probably not the in line with the purpose of the article, nonetheless here it is..

In my not so humble opinion, acquiring Adam Jones only makes sense if we can actually keep Prado. Prado provides the Braves with flexiblity that no other player on the market or currently on the team can provide. Let Prado become that super-utility guy again, giving rest to Chipper, Freeman, Uggla, A.Jones, Bourn, and Heyward (the latter 2 would move A.Jones to their respective spots, positioning Prado in LF). Ideal situation...

This, to me, is the breaking point to your Prado or Jones debate: A. Jones' splits are atrocious!

Against LHP: career .673 OPS (including a .665 OPS last year)

joelucia
joelucia moderator

@baldheaded1der I really don't have an answer for you. Jones' splits are pretty ugly, but do you really want to get into platoon hell again? Diaz can't hit lefties as well as he used to, and I think it would be a wash overall. But I do see your point about moving Prado to a super-utility role....I think it would help him from getting exposed for what he is getting 300-400 PA instead of 600


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