Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
The old saying is your glove gets you to the majors, and your bat lets you stay. Well I am going to be so bold, and I have been around this fantasy game for over 2 decades now, that I have never seen a more slick fielding Shortstop then Andrelton Simmons. Now I know you are thinking, "Great Smokey, but fielding percentage and nifty glove work won't win you a fantasy championship. While I mostly agree with you, although you have to be a positive to your team to get regular at-bats, enter Andrelton Simmons.
The Atlanta Braves have started retooling their line-up in the post Chipper Jones era, already adding B.J. Upton to the top of their order. While at the Braves core they are a very young group including, Freeman, Heyward and they do have some veterans sprinkled across the diamond. Their starting shortstop this upcoming year, and for the foreseeable future as long as he hits, is Andrelton Simmons. Teams win real championships by having great players up the middle. Now that Upton has been added to CF, the Braves certainly have some good qualifiers.
Last season we saw a glimpse of the ability that Simmons has showed during his entire minor league career. To me he reminds me of Dave Concepcion, glove wise and his good but not awful ability with the stick. He only appeared in a handful of games after having his season interrupted by injury, but what we did see was a great glove and the ability to put the ball in play. Now he is never going to be a HR threat, but could put up double digits. His true value comes from getting on base, scoring runs and giving you 20 plus steals a year. Now imagine all that potential, guaranteed at-bats every game and decent line-up surrounding him. The potential to be better then expected is there, and a line of .280/.330/.400 with 10 HR's, 20 SB's and 140 runs scored and driven in isn't so far fetched. What is scaring people away is small sample size and unfamiliarity, but the best part is that he can be had for basically your last pick in the draft. Sounds good to me, now I just need to incorporate a fielding stat into your fantasy league and we will be all set.