The best shortstop this Spring for the Braves has been Andrelton Simmons without a doubt. Teammate Tyler Pastornicky hasn’t done much offensively or defensively and that has gotten a lot of folks talking about seeing Andrelton sometime this season.
It is true that Simmons has done much better that TP so far. Andrelton has a .250/.357/.417 line with a .774 OPS in 6 games and 12 at bats. TP has a .115/.148/.115 line, a .264 OPS in 8 games and 26 at bats. Simmons has 2 walks and 2 strikeouts compared to Pasto’s 1 walk and 3 K’s.
To be honest, I find it pretty amusing that the same people who criticized the team for allowing Tyler to be the starting shortstop this year are calling for Andrelton Simmons in 2012. The main reason people were (and still are) worried about Pastornicky playing the 6 hole is because he only has 672 plate appearances at double A or higher. Well surprise! Andrelton Simmons has 570 plate appearances at A ball and 269 plate appearances in rookie ball.
I can’t see the Braves bringing up the future shortstop of the Atlanta Braves this year unless both Wilson and TP get season ending injuries and we can’t trade for a shortstop. Sure it’s great that Simmons is doing well at Spring Training but don’t think that he is going to get a starting MLB spot because of it.
Defensively we all know he could play now but he still has a lot of work to do with the bat. He has yet to prove himself against more advanced pitching and if you think 3 hits is enough to get him on the 25 man then something is up.
Don’t mistake me for ragging on Simmons, I’m not. He’s a fantastic ballplayer and I can’t wait to see him playing everyday with the Braves. But 2012 is not his year. 2013 might even be too early. Just enjoy Spring ball as much as you can right now… although the offense hasn’t exactly been too enjoyable yet.