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Prado hits 100th HR in emotional finale

Veteran infielder: 'It's unbelievable how baseball can surprise you'
@JoeFrisaro
September 29, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- No one is calling it a retirement party, but it certainly felt like one for veteran infielder Martín Prado, who went out in style in the 4-3 Marlins win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the third inning, Prado connected on a home

PHILADELPHIA -- No one is calling it a retirement party, but it certainly felt like one for veteran infielder Martín Prado, who went out in style in the 4-3 Marlins win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

In the third inning, Prado connected on a home run off Edgar Garcia. The drive to left field was the 100th of the 35-year-old’s big league career. According to Statcast, it had an exit velocity of 101.3 mph and a projected distance of 380 feet.

“It's unbelievable how baseball can surprise you,” Prado said. “I'm so thankful, so blessed to be able to come through today.”

It also may have come in his final MLB game. Now a free agent, Prado is uncertain what playing opportunities lie ahead for him in 2020.

“If there is something out there, I'd consider it,” Prado said. “But now that I have a family involved, any decision in the future is going to involve my wife and my kids. And now we have a baby on the way, so there's a little more. There's another decision I have to make as a group, as a family.”

If Prado doesn't find an opportunity to play, Miami is receptive to bringing him back in some capacity, either coaching or in player development.

The Marlins acquired Prado and reliever David Phelps from the Yankees after the 2014 season, and since '15, he has been a leader on mostly inexperienced clubs.

“Martín getting his 100th, it was a special moment,” Miami shortstop Miguel Rojas said. “We're not calling this a retirement, we just know that with things going on in baseball, we're probably not going to see him in the same uniform. We want to appreciate what he did for us as a club and help us get to the point where we are right now. He helped a lot of players along the way.”

After the 2016 season, Prado signed a three-year, $40 million deal with the Marlins, which included a base salary of $15 million in '19.

But the past few seasons, Prado has dealt with numerous injuries and played in just 195 combined games. This year, he hit .233 with two homers and 15 RBIs. Sunday’s home run was Prado's first since April 24 at Cleveland.

“He's been beaten up the last few years from the standpoint of injuries,” manager Don Mattingly said. “It's taken a little toll on him. He's a guy who is very proud. He feels like he's letting the organization down when he's hurt.”

To give Prado a proper send-off, the Marlins had Prado go out to first base to warm up before the bottom of the ninth inning, and then replaced him with Jorge Alfaro.

Before reaching the dugout, Prado was embraced by many of his teammates, and he received a nice ovation from fans as he tipped his cap to the Phils’ dugout.

“I didn't know. They made that up in the middle of the game,” Prado said. “I felt emotional. I've played against the other team a lot of years. When [hitting coach] Charlie Manuel was there, I played against his team in the same division for so many years. I respect him. I respect baseball.

“I hope they know the respect I have for them, the entire league, the media, the Miami Marlins organization, everybody that is involved. They've treated me so well. Sometimes you get emotional like that.”

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.