Andrelton Simmons has been known to be a defensive wiz at shortstop, and the Dutch Caribbean once again lived up to the hype after saving the day for the Atlanta Braves against the New York Mets for a close 3-2 victory.
Simmons has shown his defensive genius for the past three seasons, and when it mattered the most, he once again delivered. In the eighth inning, a sharp ground by Travis d’Arnaud could have resulted in a game-tying play. Unfortunately, the ball never reached the waiting gloves of Justin Upton as Simmons managed to backhand the ball and rocket it to Freddie Freeman uncontested.
D’Arnaud was not at all surprised with Simmons’ masterful read, having backhanded a previous grounder. This season, Simmons has registered a league-record 62 Defensive Runs Saved, a far cry from the usual 25 that most shortstop have. Well, Simmons did not win his first Gold Glove Award last year for nothing.
Simmons genius on the field has led Braves first base coach Terry Pendleton to compare Simmons with another baseball great, Ozzie Smith. Pendleton and Smith once played alongside Smith with the St. Louis Cardinals.
And while Simmons continues to dazzle with his repertoire of stops, team manager Fredi Gonzales believes that there are more to come from his prized shortstop. Simmons signed a fresh 7-year pact worth around $58 million in February of this year, keeping him in Atlanta up to 2020.