Andrelton Simmons turned his back to the infield to make a crazy over-the-shoulder catch look easy
In Andrelton Simmons, the Angels are blessed with one of the best defenders in the entire game. The things he does at shortstop are simply mind-boggling, and the way in which he makes everything look easy is equally ridiculous.
Saturday's Halos game with the Orioles, eventually won by Baltimore, 3-2, was a tense affair. With the Angels clinging to a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning, the O's had runners on second and third with one out and Matt Wieters at the plate. He lofted a popup into short center field, and it appeared destined to fall in for a run-scoring single. But wait, there's that man Simmons:
This is the type of play people dream of making. Full-on sprint toward the outfield, close situation, potentially game-changing ramifications either way … and he made it look like a piece of cake, even turning around and firing a strike toward the plate to make sure nobody scored.
According to Statcast™, Simmons had a 97.8 percent efficiency route and reached 18.7 miles per hour in covering 111 feet in his pursuit of the baseball, which is simply staggering to see written out.
After the game, Angels starter Nick Tropeano raved about Simmons to MLB.com's Ben Raby:
"That's an unbelievable catch. I don't think any other shortstop in the game is making that catch."
As did manager Mike Scioscia:
"He keeps making one that outdoes each catch that he makes. That's just incredible."
Simmons shared some of his inner thoughts as the play developed, too:
"Before the play, I know I'm playing in but I'm checking the outfield to see how deep they are. Mikey [Mike Trout] was pretty deep so I know I've got to try to go get it if that situation comes in play. So when it was hit -- I have a feel for how long I've ran and how far he is, so I was like 'I'm probably going to have to go for this ball.' Normally if I'm closer to him, I'll let him catch it, but I knew he was deep and I was just trying to get it and make sure that ball doesn't drop."
He's really in a level all his own out there, isn't he?