Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was easily the biggest defensive difference maker at his position in 2013, saving a league best 41 runs according to defensive metrics. In fact, Simmons was so dominant covering ground and making plays, he actually lapped the field and doubled the next closest shortstop in either league.
An argument could also be made that Simmons was the most dynamic and entertaining player to watch with the leather, making highlight reel play after highlight play on his way to the Gold Glove award in the NL and ultimately the Platinum Glove winner as the NL's best overall fielder.
Bottom line, he was great. Historically awesome even. And just in case you're not believing the hype, here's 25 minutes worth of evidence to prove it.
Since it's unlikely you'll have 25 minutes to invest in watching the entire video, here are a few plays that stand out and the times you can view them.
0:00 — Right off the bat from the World Baseball Classic, Simmons ranges deep into center field to track down a popup and then fires to first base for a double play.
1:04 — Another long run for a popup, this time into foul territory at PNC Park.
2:28 — From a seated position, Simmons throws out Ian Desmond at first base.
3:54 — Simmons nips Shin-Soo Choo with a between-the-legs tag.
6:20 — Just watch the throw. It's a laser.
12:12 — As good a relay throw as you'll see to nail Michael Cuddyer at the plate.
19:17 — Off a deflection by third baseman Chris Johnson, Simmons changes directions and gathers the ball to get the runner at first.
One thing that stands out in this video is Simmons' arm strength and accuracy. Simply incredible whether he's on the move, in stride, flat-footed, or yes, on the seat of his pants. He's a special talent that will be a joy to watch for years to come.
BLS H/N: Hardball Talk
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