Andrelton Simmons has encountered plenty of success since the Braves took him in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The slick-fielding shortstop began this season at Double-A Mississippi and earned a promotion to Atlanta at the start of June. By the beginning of July, some media members and scouts were touting him as the game's top defensive shortstop. A broken bone in his left hand sidelined him for two months after the All-Star break, but he returned to the Braves lineup for the regular season's final two weeks.
Simmons is currently with his family on his native island of Curacao. He recently took time to discuss his favorite Christmas memories and traditions with MLB.com.
MLB.com: How is your hand feeling and have you started preparing for Spring Training?
Simmons: My hand has been feeling pretty good while I've been working out with some of the other pro guys down here in Curacao. I'm hoping it will be 100 percent by the start of Spring Training.
MLB.com: What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Simmons: It would have to be when my mom and grandma cook dinner for the family and everybody else brings something to the dinner table on Christmas Eve.
MLB.com: Does your mother and grandmother prepare a special dish every year?
Simmons: My mom cooks smoked ham, and my grandma has a special way of serving the pigs' ears.
MLB.com: What is the best gift that you have ever received?
Simmons: A baseball glove my dad got me would be the best Christmas gift I've gotten, hands down.
MLB.com: I'm guessing it was probably 80 degrees and sunny that day? Did you go outside to play catch immediately? How old were you?
Simmons: I was four years old. I think it's pretty safe to say I started playing catch with the glove right away.
MLB.com: Have you ever wished that you could see snow on Christmas?
Simmons: I've seen snow. It's pretty and everything, but I'll take a warm Christmas Day every time.
MLB.com: I've read that Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated in Curacao on Dec. 5. Do you celebrate then and again when Christmas arrives on Dec. 25?
Simmons: We celebrate Saint Nicholas Day and Christmas. As a kid, I didn't know the difference. I was just happy I was getting gifts. We will exchange gifts on Christmas again this year.
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite Christmas-themed movie or television show?
Simmons: It would have to be 'Home Alone.'
MLB.com: What would be the perfect gift for you this year?
Simmons: I really can't think of a particular gift for me. I'm not a picky guy. I take what I get.
MLB.com: What would be the perfect gift for one of your teammates?
Simmons: A basketball for [Jason] Heyward. I've seen his jump shot, and he needs some work.