James Jay Hutchison wrote this on Andrelton Simmons’ Facebook page: “Simbo, I have been absolutely dazzled by your play since day one last year. Was sorely disappointed about the finger. I tell everyone that as far as I am concerned, you are the finest athlete this city [Atlanta] has ever seen.”
Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez offers: “Somebody asks me, ‘What is the best play you’ve ever seen him make?’ My patent answer is the next one. He’s got a knack.” (Source)
Yahoo Sports‘ Jeff Pasan likens Andrelton Simmons’ highlight page to ‘baseball pornography’: for such a repository of rewatachability, the descriptions of the varying things he does from his shortstop position for the Atlanta Braves are comically simple. “Simmons’ barehanded play,” a recent one says. “Simmons’ sliding stop,” another advertises. “Simmons’ strong throw,” a third offers.
Pasan goes on to ask: Is Simmons the best shortstop in baseball today?
Yep, metrics and scouts seem to agree unequivocally.
“It’s not like he has no competition, either. Jose Iglesias did this. Troy Tulowitzki is a wizard. A dozen others merit mention. None is Simmons, though. None has the combination of glove, arm, feet and instincts, the fearsome foursome of fielding (…) Stitched in cursive on Andrelton Simmons’ glove are two words: “God Given.”
If his highlight page were to showcase his next incredible play with “Simmons, God Given,” that might be the only palatable three-word phrase to do him justice.”
Braves first-base coach Terry Pendleton likens Simmons to the greatest fielding shortstop ever: Ozzie Smith. “They are born shortstops, there’s no doubt about that,” Pendleton said. “That’s instincts. There are just things you see them do that they’re born to do.”
Maybe it’s all the soccer he played in his youth?
Maybe there’s an inherent knack for right-place, right-time? (His father is a cop)
Maybe there is something to that higher being…
“To understand the game like he does, and make the plays that he makes,” Braves catcher Gerald Laird said. “When his career is over, I don’t know if five people are gonna have enough hands for all his Gold Gloves.”