One can make a case for nearly any of the pieces of the Atlanta Braves lineup as its most consistent asset. 

With Michael Bourn nearing free agency, Jason Heyward coming off a injury-plagued sophomore season and Andrelton Simmons getting his first shot at the big leagues, each of these players have proved to be critical to the Braves success through the All-Star break. 

But one piece that holds the glue together is Martin Prado. 

Prado has been the measure of consistency since he got his chance to play nearly everyday in 2009 - he played in 128 games. 

His previous season, where he saw action in 78 games, Prado hit .320, giving the Braves a taste of what he could do if inserted into the lineup everyday. 

Inserted into the lineup on a more regular basis in 2009, Prado hit .307 in 128 games before duplicating the same batting average in 2010 while playing in 140 games, splitting time at second base and third after taking over for an injured Chipper Jones. 

2011 dealt Prado a few bad cards, as it appeared he was trying to do too much at times before being ordered to stay away from baseball activities due to a staph infection midway through the summer. 

Down the stretch in 2011, where Prado once flourished in season before, he faltered, as did the rest of the ball club, and many referred to the change of position being more stress on the shoulders of Prado than he portrayed. (Prado moved from second base to left field after the Braves acquired Dan Uggla after the 2010 season concluded). 

But 2012 has given Prado, and the Braves, a change of mentality. 

With Michael Bourn leading off for an entire year, Prado has done everything asked of him, and more, to be the consistent two-hole hitter the franchise desperately needs behind the speedy Bourn. 

Through 83 games this season, mainly in left field and at times at third base, Prado is batting .321 and has 104 hits - he was the only player in the National League with over 100 hits to be left off the All-Star team. 

But don't look too far into that  - All-Star games can be more of a popularity contest to some, and with the way Prado has swung the bat in his tenure in Atlanta, he has proven he is worthy, if his name is called. 

His best month was May, where he hit .381(40-for-105), which made up for a .271 (23-for-85) April. In June, he hit .307 (31-for-101) and has got 10-for-33 so far in July. 

With the second half of the season set to begin when the Braves host the Mets this weekend, many may wish to ask Frank Wren - were you serious about trading Prado to Baltimore for Adam Jones? 

But Prado knows what he can and cannot control - the game is a business, and you have to do what's best for yourself. 

Until then, Prado will continue to be the mark of consistency for a franchise that set the bar for consistency with 14 straight division titles from 1991 to 2005.