One of Atlanta’s better prospects, Andrelton Simmons, will be their new starting SS on Friday.
Going into spring, Simmons battled Pastornicky for the starting shortstop gig. Pastornicky was the favorite, so Simmons already had an uphill battle. Despite the disadvantage, Simmons nearly pulled it off, with decent hitting and stellar defense. But in the end, Pastornicky won.
Fast-forward to June 1, Pastornicky has not been hitting well (under .250 with 1 HR) and his defense hasn’t been so great either. The Braves would be okay with his defense if his bat was better. But it hasn’t been, so he is being sent down and the Braves are bringing up a great defender who has also been hitting well in the minors.
On the year (AA), Simmons is batting .292, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 28 Runs, and 10 SB in 43 games. He is looking like the prototypical SS/leadoff guy. Good average, a little power, and lots of speed.
We have to keep in mind that the transition from AA to the majors is a big one. Simmons is likely to struggle. This move by the braves is a defense first move – any hitting is just icing on the cake. That said, Simmons is the SS of the future and will be a good player at some point.
In fantasy, he can only be recommended in deep leagues. The transition is probably going to be pretty tough. I imagine he’ll have a nice place in shallower leagues next year.