Andrelton Simmons is very, very good at what he does on the baseball diamond.
Years before he made his debut in Atlanta, scouts said he could be a starter at the Major League level right then because of his defensive abilities. It's hard to really know just how impressive a guy is when there's so little video access to the Minor League games, but when scouts are at a consensus about something, they're usually right.
Since coming to the bigs in 2012, Simmons has played 680 innings in the field. In that time, he's saved 30 runs. You can read more on Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) here.
Only one shortstop in baseball, Brendan Ryan, has saved more runs in that span (31). Ryan has played 1,383 innings in the field. ESPN's Mark Simon had a full writeup on Simmons earlier today and created this chart.
Most Defensive Runs Saved
SS since 2012
|Brendan Ryan||31||1,382 2/3|
|Elvis Andrus||15||1,604 1/3|
|Brandon Crawford||15||1,386 1/3|
|Mike Aviles||15||1,154 2/3|
|>> Through Tuesday's Games|
So for those of you not strong in math -- I just pulled a calculator out -- Ryan has played slightly more than double the innings Simmons has since last year, yet he's only one defensive run better than the Braves' 23-year-old shortstop.
That means Andrelton is not only the best defensive shortstop in the league right now, but is on pace to becoming one of the greatest of all time. The next few years are going to be fun.