His numbers say otherwise.
But Marlins third baseman Martin Prado says he isn’t having a good season.
His .321 batting average that ranks seventh in the National League? So what, he says.
His .982 fielding percentage that’s second only to Rockies gold glover Nolan Arenado’s .983? Big deal.
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His 3.1 WAR, fifth among third basemen? Not impressed.
“I’m not happy with my season, to be honest with you,” Prado said. “I’m not happy with my results right now.”
Uh, say what?
“At the end of the season, maybe we’ve got a different conversation about this,” Prado said one day last week in Denver. “But right now, I’m looking for more. I’m a guy who is always looking for perfection.”
In some ways, the 32-year-old Venezuelan is having one of the best seasons of his 11-year, big-league career.
He’s never hit better in terms of average. He’s exceeded his current .374 on-base percentage only once before.
From the standpoint of the Marlins, he’s making their 2014 trade with the Yankees look like a good one. In that deal, the Marlins acquired Prado and pitcher David Phelps from the Bronx Bombers for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones.
But there are statistical areas that dismay Prado.
His six home runs are the fewest of any full-time third baseman in the NL. His .807 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) is just so-so. And he’s grounded into 18 double plays, the most of any player in the majors.
“Thinking about numbers, I get angry,” Prado said. “I’m realistic of where I am. If you compare me with other third basemen — I’m talking about overall — I’m just average. Production this year has been in my head the whole time. I’m not going to pretend I’m the guy. I don’t feel it.”
The Marlins aren’t complaining.
Not only has Prado performed above expectations, but his leadership presence inside the clubhouse is also valued. Prado’s daily ritual upon showing up for work is to shake the hand of every player and coach.
The Marlins like him so much that, when Prado becomes a free agent after the season, they’re expected to offer him a contract to keep him around.
Prado was vague about whether he wants to remain.
“I’m not saying right now because we’re winning, and we want to go all the way,” Prado said. “After the season, we’ll see. I love the group, and I like where the team is heading in the future. I like the progression and getting all these pieces to be a long-term good team. It’s something I’ve been thinking of. We’ll see.”
NO JOSE ON SUNDAY
In keeping with their plan to manage Jose Fernandez’s workload in order to get him through the season, the Marlins are skipping his next turn in the rotation.
Instead of pitching on Sunday against White Sox ace Chris Sale, Fernandez’s next start is being pushed back to next week in Cincinnati. Tom Koehler will get the start on Sunday instead.
The Marlins were able to make the rotation adjustment because of Thursday’s off day. They did the same thing with Fernandez before the All-Star break.
The idea is to limit Fernandez’s innings and make sure he’s available to them in the postseason if the Marlins make it that far.
▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Andrew Cashner (4-8, 4.96 ERA) vs. Chicago White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (2-8, 4.49), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Saturday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (8-6, 3.70) vs. White Sox RHP James Shields (5-14, 5.43), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.