LA Angels: Grading Andrelton Simmons Season
Andrelton Simmons was acquired by the LA Angels in the off season. The Angels traded away their long time short-stop Erick Aybar, coupled with one of their best pitching prospects. Was Simmons able to make this trade considered a success or a flop?
Coming into this season the LA Angels were able to make a trade that showed some instant promise. The addition of Andrelton Simmons instantly injected some youth and amazing defense into the team. It was a no-brainer that this was an upgrade at shortstop for the Angels. Yet at a time where the Angels were in need of some major offensive upgrades, there were some fans that were not happy that the trade didn’t help satisfy any offensive needs. The trade also sent one of the LA Angels top pitching prospects Sean Newcomb away as well, which also had some fans scratching their heads.
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In short; Andrelton Simmons had a lot to prove. In his four years with the Atlanta Braves Simmons held a batting average of .256, an on-base percentage of .304 and an OPS of .666. This year with the Angels Simmons was able to greatly improve on those numbers. This season Simmons posted a .281 batting average, .324 on-base percentage, and a .690 OPS. Simmons current highs for those stats came in 2012, but the sample size was only 166 at bats and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Also, Simmons in 2013 with the Braves was able to hit 17 home runs. Not a huge number by any means, but is a leap from his total of 4 this year with the Angels. He also had his highest record of RBI’s in 2013 with 59 compared to this year where he got 44.
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Simmons offense while better average-wise his season, still, has a lot of room for improvement. His average did end up at a spot that I wouldn’t have been able to guess at the beginning of the season. His home runs and RBI’s were both at his same numbers in the 2015 season, though.
Defensively Simmons was as solid as ever. It seemed daily he made hard plays at short seem routine He would run out into the outfield and make an over the shoulder catch and I began to wonder if there was an inch on the field he wouldn’t be able to cover.
The biggest thing for me though is comparing Simmons to Aybar this year. Aybar had a whopping total WAR of -.2 between the Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers. Simmons had a WAR of 4.2, the second highest of his career. Sean Newcomb didn’t get out of AA this year so he wouldn’t have been a factor this year. So in short, if we still had Aybar we would have been somehow worse this season
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Simmons was able to come into the season and prove himself. In the least, he proved himself a needed and worthy upgrade at shortstop. His defense was insanely fun to watch and was always top-notch. His offense even hit some strides throughout the season. He was also able to give hope to the future for the Angels. Simmons is still young and has many years to come where he is still playing stellar defense, and if he can continually get better offensively it will be an ever-growing cherry on top.