Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/29/13
PHOENIX -- It might be natural to assume that Martin Prados early-season struggles are in some way related to Justin Upton and his 12-home run April. Might be. Martin? No, he said simply. Thats him. Its not me. Hes a superstar. Everybody knows that. Im not. I just do my job. Thats all I do. Its not a surprise for anyone that he can do those numbers. Hes a guy who can be over the top. Im doing my thing. Its just not happening the way I want it. Im doing everything I can to get the feeling back, Prado said. Prado, the centerpiece of the D-backs return in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta in January, said it is more about trying to show his new teammates what they got in the deal.He admits he is pressing to make a good first impression, however unnecessary that might be given his All-Star resume and reputation. I feel like I am trying to do too much. Its just not happening the way I want it, Prado said. His teammates are not concerned. The D-backs know who they have, even if they have seen it only sporadically so far. Willie Bloomquist likened Prado to a former Seattle teammate, Edgar Martinez, and scouts compare him to Placido Polanco. Its tough, catcher Miguel Montero said. "When you come to a new team, you want to show them what you can do. He really doesnt need to show us, because we know how good he is." Prado accepts that -- to a degree. Theres something else there, he said. I want my teammates to believe that I can help the team. Well see. Well see by the end of the season." After a day to recharge Sunday, Prado returned to the leadoff spot in the order for the first game of the Giants series Monday, coming in with a .208 batting average while in a 5-for-39 slide. His record suggests it is just a matter of time. Prado is a career .295 hitter with four double-digit-homer seasons since joining the Braves for good in 2009. He had career highs with 42 doubles and six triples last season. Hes a competitor, Montero said. "Obviously hes trying a little too hard. He wants to do good, and everybody knows he wants to do good. At the same time, he needs to relax a little more and dont put pressure on himself. Its easy to say. Like people tell me not to swing hard. Its easy to say. Its hard to get it done. I know he is going to be fine. He just needs to get a little streak going, a couple of bloopers here or there, and then things are going to change. Im not worried about him. I know what he is capable of doing, and I know he is going to do it. Prado has started at second base, third base and left field in the first 25 games, and he also played an inning at shortstop when needed April 13. He has not taken his hitting skid into the field or the dugout, manager Kirk Gibson said. As much as anybody Ive ever been around in that situation, his steadiness is very calming to his teammates. Its just a huge example, Gibson said, referring specifically to the D-backs game Saturday in which Prado was 0-for-5 and left runners in scoring position three times. Hes not down there sitting with his head in his hands. Hes not thinking about his last at-bat. Hes right back up there, right next to me. Hes watching. Hes talking to those guys. Playing great defense. Thats very impressive. It takes special character to do that. "Im sure he is putting pressure on himself. We all do. Hell be fine. Well get him out of that. Well get him back to where he needs to be. Meanwhile, Prado keeps working. Im not going to change anything. Itsust one of those times. Im just not getting results, he said. All that matters is that the team is playing well.
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