October 5, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) fields a ground ball against the St. Louis Cardinals durind the 2012 National League wild card playoff game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Simmons Ready to Shine Defensively

 

In the 49 regular season games that Andrelton Simmons played in 2012, he was as solid as any shortstop in the league.  Simmons, in 426 innings, only committed 3 errors and held a .987 fielding percentage.  Granted he did not play enough games to qualify for season leaders, Simmons ranked third in fielding percentage behind only Jhonny Peralta and league leader J.J. Hardy.

 

Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) fields a ground ball for an out in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

2013 seems like Simmons will pick up where he left off last year at short.  He will then have MLB experience and another spring training on his belt.  Simmons will look to take the next step in becoming one of the best shortstops in the league.  Some analyses are already claiming he is the best defensive shortstop in the MLB.  He does have the range, glove and arm (he was clocked at 98 MPH when he was at Western Oklahoma State JC) to be the star at short the Braves have been looking for.

 

The greatest thing any infield loves to have is a great fielder at first base.  And the Braves have this in Freddie Freeman.  He stands tall at 6’5” and can scoop the ball like the best in the game.  An advantage most shortstops won’t have this year and Simmons will enjoy every play of it.  One thing Simmons will miss this season is Chipper Jones.  He mentions in the interview link below that Chipper helped him in field by positioning Simmons in the correct spot where the ball would go.  With experience, this will come in nature with Simmons and with his maturity at such a young age, he should pick up on this quickly.

 

If he stays healthy, the Braves will have nothing to worry about when the ball gets hit to short.  Simmons is an exciting player to watch and dazzle Braves fans, 2013 should be a season he shines and Andrelton Simmons will become a nationwide household name.

 

Rookie Prg: Andrelton Simmons

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