Braves' Andrelton Simmons May Be The Best Shortstop In The Majors

24-Year Old In Action In Atlanta's Loss To Padres Sunday

Monday, September 16, 2013 - by Tim Evearitt

It was a pleasure watching Braves' shortstop Andrelton Simmons in action Sunday afternoon at Turner Field. In this sequence of photos, Simmons makes two routine plays -- the second of a ground ball that third baseman Chris Johnson watches

A recent article by Jeff Passan at Yahoo sports had this to say:

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.

He realizes this, too. Simmons turned 24 a little more than a week ago, and ever since he signed with the Braves as a second-round pick out of Western Oklahoma State, he has been told his talent in the field is preternatural. Most teams liked Simmons as a pitcher – he threw 98 mph as a closer for the junior college that recruited him out of Curacao – but the Braves recognized an up-the-middle lottery ticket is far likelier to hit jackpot than another hard-throwing arm.

Simmons arrived in the majors last season with the reputation as the next great shortstop, and as much hype hangs on players upon their debuts, he was one of the few who exceeded it. And not just by a little, either. Braves first-base coach Terry Pendleton spent seven seasons playing third base alongside the greatest fielding shortstop ever, Ozzie Smith.

"And that's where this kid's getting to," Pendleton said. "The rest of us ooh and ahh about it. But I'm to the point now where when he doesn't do something I'm more surprised. And the kid's only got a year in the big leagues.

"He just has a knack for it. And you see when something else goes on, he's always thinking about the next thing. Or there's a play over here and he's thinking about what he can do with it. And those are the things that I watched Ozzie Smith do. And I'm quite sure, at Ozzie's age, he's doing the same thing."

For Simmons, it is just … him. He doesn't know how he slides, pops up and throws in one motion. Maybe it's the soccer he played from age 13 on – the game that taught him how to tackle and nearly stole him away from baseball full-time. He's not certain why he can always approach a ball exactly where he must.



Georgia Northwestern Win Two at Welch College Invitational

After two narrow losses in their past two games, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats took out their frustrations in a big way at the Welch College Invitational in Nashville, Tenn. Over the weekend. The Bobcats thumped St. Louis Christian on Friday night, 81-44, before whipping Appalachian Bible College in Saturday’s finale, 91-42, to improve to 2-4 overall on the season. ... (click for more)

Forsthoffer, LaRochelle, Myers, Ward Lead GPS Swimmers

Susanna LaRochelle, April Forsthoffer, Kristen Myers and Anna Ward rewrote several records for the 200 Medley Relay to highlight action for the McCallie/GPS Aquatics team in the McCallie Invitational swim meet this weekend. The three records broken included the GPS school, McCallie pool and the McCallie Invitational. LaRochelle also had first-place finishes in the 200 IM and ... (click for more)

Grote Hall At UTC Campus Closed Due To Sinkhole

A sinkhole has prompted UTC officials to close off access to Grote Hall. Grote Hall employees have been told they do not need to report to work on Monday. Classes that are held in Grote Hall are called off for Monday. All other classes and campus activities are on for Monday. (click for more)

Bradley County Police Investigating Shooting; Victim Dies

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Georgetown Road. The sheriff's office said Sunday night that the victim had died. The victim's name has not yet been released.  A BCSO officer was waved down at the intersection of 25 th Street and Peerless Road by the driver of a vehicle who told the officer a gunshot victim ... (click for more)

Don't Be Quick To Discard Common Core

Let's not be too quick to discard Common Core. A recent article in the Tennessean on  Sunday detailed Common Core successes the Kingsport, Tennessee school system.  I encourage you to read it.  The article also noted that Tennessee was recently ranked as one of the fastest improving states in education after implementing portions of the Common Core curriculum ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UVa --Time For Change

The University of Virginia is, by any measure, one of the finest universities in the world. I have long admired it, whether covering dozens of sports events, cavorting with countless friends, or benefitting repeatedly from the surgical skills of the late world-class humanitarian Frank McCue. But today there is a terrible pall over “Mr. Jefferson’s university” – no, make that a ... (click for more)