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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  • Bob Long

    While I have no qualms about “homeristic” journalism, I have to note that Simmons has only played 43 games at the Major League level. He experienced three (3) injuries last year between spring training and the MLB regular season.

    What if, instead of becoming Ozzie Smith v2.0, he becomes “injury prone”? His superlative defensive plays involve a lot of diving and sliding that could translate into nagging injuries, year after year.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I think he is an outstanding defensive shortstop. I simply think that we should wait until he has a full MLB season under his belt before we give him Gold Gloves for the next 10 years.

  • fireboss

    The infield looks solid enough to me. Uggla’s defense is always a question but he makes routine plays well, it’s when he tries to be better than his skills allow that he looks bad. Francisco became a better third baseman last year with the help of Chipper and TP. I’ve said he’s my breakout candidate for 13. Why everyone assumes Johnson is better is a bit confusing. The scouting report I read said his lateral movement and footwork weren’t good and at 28 he’s already in his prime while Juan will be 26 in June and just hitting his.

    I think the defense will match up with anyone’s. My concern is that as we saw in last years Selig Death Match Challenge unexpected happenings can lose one game so we need to win the division and I have questions about the rotation once we get past Medlen and Minor.

  • Lee Trocinski

    Simmons reminds me of Alcides Escobar. Long and athletic, with good arms and foot speed. Escobar has been alright at SS, but not what everyone thought he would be defensively. They’re similar offensively also, and it took until this season for Escobar to be average at the plate. Simmons is good, but I don’t know if being a quality leadoff guy and a Gold Glove SS is that likely this season.