SCOTTSDALE — Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Martin Prado is a man of few words. Instead, he prefers to let his work do the talking for him — a trait that has already endeared him to a veteran-laden locker room.
While Prado would have probably preferred to have spent his Wednesday night in Miami rather than in the two-hole of the D-backs’ lineup against the Milwaukee Brewers at Salt River Fields, the former All-Star didn’t express any outward sense of disappointment over his country’s forgettable weekend in Puerto Rico.
Team Venezuela was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic after losing the first two games of pool play against the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, but the first-year D-back admitted that he was just proud to have had the opportunity to represent his home country in the international tournament.
“When they called me (to play for Team Venezuela), I was like ‘Yeah, I’d love to represent my country and be proud of it,'” Prado said. “Besides representing my country, I represented my family and friends, and they all got to watch me play. It was a good experience for me.”
The Venezuelans may have fallen short in the WBC, but Prado certainly shined on an individual level. In three games, he led the Venezuelan team with five hits and a .455 batting average.
While the WBC offers countries a chance to both celebrate the game and showcase their big-name stars, Prado said the tournament format rewards the teams that get hot quickly, and not necessary those that are filled with household names.
“Any team could have a rough patch like we did,” said Prado. “It’s a short three games, and whoever plays better baseball has a good chance to go to the second half. In the first two games, I think we didn’t secure a lot of plays that we should’ve. That cost us (a chance) to go to the second round.”
Being the team-first guy that he is, Prado said that while it was honor to play for Venezuela, the D-backs’ 2013 season was never far from his mind.
“Whether I play international baseball or I’m here, I just prepare myself,” said Prado. “I just went to try and enjoy myself, play hard and get good at-bats. For me, it’s about getting me going and getting me ready for the season.”
In his return to the D-backs Wednesday, Prado went 0-for-2 with a run scored.