Archive for the ‘Andrelton Simmons’ Category

Atlanta Braves shortstop Simmons makes an over the shoulder catch for an out on New York Mets Turner during their MLB National League baseball game in New York

Andrelton Simmons became a rich man yesterday, inking a seven-year contract extension with the Atlanta Braves that will keep him with the club through 2021. As argued in this space, Simmons can contribute some with the bat, smacking 17 homers in 2013. But his calling card is his defense.

He’s the best defensive shortstop in baseball and there is little room for debate. Advanced defensive metrics love him (41 runs saved last year alone, according to Dewan’s plus/minus system!) He showcases every single skill you’d want to see in at the crucial infield defensive job.

Check out some of his slickest defensive plays below!

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MLB: NLDS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves

Is there such a thing as a reverse sticker shock? When first reading the Braves signing of Andrelton Simmons to a seven-year, $58 million contract extension, the immediate reaction is one of disbelief — in a good way?

Simmons? That guy? The best defensive shortstop in baseball by a not-insignificant margin for a mere $8MM AAV? Where do I sign?? What a deal, another master stroke by the Braves as they solidify their core before the gulf in spending power between gets too great.

Comparing Simmons’ deal to the eight-year, $120 million contract extension the Rangers inked with Elvis Andrus doesn’t help this perception. It’s a steal for ATL!

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Coming into the season, hopes were high for Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves. He put on a show at the World Baseball Classic, demonstrating the skills that made his injury-shortened 2012 season.

While the power he displayed when facing random Taiwainese pitchers is yet to materialize in the big leagues, the defense that helped him essentially rise from single-A to the Show in one year has been on display pretty much every night.

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Nothing to see here, just Andrelton Simmons making it look easy on a Wednesday afternoon.

Japan v Netherlands - World Baseball Classic Second Round Pool 1

It would seem as though the hype behind Andrelton Simmons is not without merit. The 23-year old Braves shortstop has become the breakout star of the World Baseball Classic, leading his Dutch team all the way to the semi finals, hitting for surprising power in addition to his normally superb defense.

This isn’t the first time Andrelton Simmons turned heads during the month of March. He a big splash last season after he nearly won the Braves starting shortstop job out of Spring Training, only to take over the role full time after his service time was safely within Super Two range at the beginning of June.

Simmons turned heads during the Braves spring campaign, despite never playing above A ball. After posting strong numbers in his first trip through Double-A, Simmons more than held his own at the big league level. Before a hand injury knocked him out for two months in July, Simmons hit .296/.336/.452 while playing superlative defense at shortstop during his first month at the big league level.

The early returns were good but it was just a short exposure to big league pitching. After returning from injury in September, Simmons numbers were a little more pedestrian, posting just a .297 wOBA in a near-meaningless 57 plate appearances. Braves fans could be hopeful for Simmons future while tempering their expectations.

Until the World Baseball Classic started. Simmons’ incredible performance vaulted the Netherlands into the semifinals and Simmons back in the conversation as the future of the Braves franchise.

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