Anthony Prato’s bat heating up for Saints

15 July 2023

When infielder Anthony Prato was called up to the Saints on June 10 from Double-A Wichita, he filled the spot created when Edouard Julien joined the Twins.

“Eddie has been killing it up there,” Prato said.

The same holds true for Prato in St. Paul. The 25-year-old native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was 2 for 4, including a two-run home run, Friday night in the Saints’ 8-5 loss to the Durham Bulls at CHS Field. Prato is hitting .314 since his call-up from Wichita.

The date of their promotions is not all that links Prato and Julien. Both were drafted by the Twins in 2019; Prato in the seventh round out of the University of Connecticut and Julien in the 18th round out of Auburn. They have made their way up through the Twins’ system together.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Prato said.

Asked if the two of them have kept in contact this season, Prato said, “Every day.”

Surprisingly, baseball isn’t their favorite topic of conversation.

“We talk more hockey than anything,” Prato said. “I’m a big New Jersey Devils guy, and he’s a (Montreal) Canadiens fan.” Julien is from Quebec.

Understandably, when they do talk baseball the focus is on what Julien has learned since becoming a major leaguer.

“He’s always giving me advice; what he sees up there, what he saw here,” Prato said. “It’s good to have guys like that.”

Prato admits to being a bit surprised when he was called up to the Saints. He was batting .177. But the Twins have enough of a sample size to know Prato can hit. He was a .300 hitter in all three of his seasons at Connecticut and batted .294 in 87 games for Wichita last season.

“I just wanted to come here and swing with confidence,” Prato said. “I think I was putting together good at-bats toward the end of Double-A, I just wasn’t getting at hits. It’s tough to stay confident that way, but it was nice to see it fall early here. I’ve just gone from there.”

Prato’s home run was his fifth with the Saints in 26 games. At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds he’s showing he has some pop in his bat as well.

“Last year was the first year I did that,” Prato said. “Prior to that I was always a gap-to-gap guy. I think using the big-league balls have helped me, too. They have that little extra power at the end of it. They feel better when they come off the bat, that’s for sure.”

Primarily a shortstop and second baseman, Prato is seeing an increasing amount of time at third base, and he was in the lineup at third on Friday night. He has picked up some tips from teammates Alex De Goti and Elliot Soto, who also play three infield positions.

His versatility will only help in his quest to reach the major leagues. Especially if he keeps hitting.

“I just want to take it day by day,” Prato said of being one step away from the majors, “but it’s there. Since I’ve been here, (Jose) Miranda, (Josh) Winder (among others) have gone up, but you try not to think about it.”


Louie Varland started for the Saints and pitched four innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out seven. All three runs came in the second inning and were unearned. An error on right fielder Matt Wallner on a sinking liner started the inning. The Bulls followed with four hits in the inning, including a triple.

The Saints led 5-3 going into the ninth inning before reliever Patrick Murphy was tagged for five runs.

Andrew Stevenson had three more hits on Friday, including a homer, and is batting .326.

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