Five reasons why the Angels acquired Andrelton Simmons
Note: This piece was originally titled "Five plays that explain why seemingly every team wants to acquire Andrelton Simmons," and was posted just hours before the Angels traded for him on Thursday. Is Cut4 responsible? We don't want to pat ourselves on the back ... but maybe.
Andrelton Simmons is a highly sought after precious good, worth more on the market than all the gold and jewels available on the planet combined. Which is why the baseball internet got very excited when it was reported that a number of teams, including the Mets and the entire NL West, were seemingly interested in the shortstop on Wednesday night.
But in case you have just woken up from a 50-year-snooze and had missed out on what makes Simmons so special, here's a little primer for you.
1. Enjoys travel
There are some shortstops who just like to get cozy with own their part of the field. They're territorial creatures and only patrol the patch of dirt directly surrounding them.
Simmons doesn't believe in that. Simmons likes to rove around the field and explore, kind of like the defensive wunderkind version of Magellan.
Statcast™ had Simmons marked at running 74.2 feet to catch this one that usually lands on the "Here be Monsters" part of the map.
2. A great friend to go to waterparks with
Simmons is equally great running or sliding to make the play. And if you don't practice sliding, you're not going to be great going down the Super Wedgie Maker 5000, or whatever.
3. Holds grudges
There's a good reason that the Mets were rumored to be interested in Simmons: They want to protect Travis d'Arnaud from him. The power-hitting catcher, who blasted 12 home runs in only 67 games after being limited by injuries in 2015, has found himself the victim of Simmons' outright thievery two years in a row now.
That's just not fair.
4. The opposition must always be on guard
Even if you manage to make it to first base without Simmons getting the out, you still have to be careful. After all, Simmons is a careful student of physics. The moment you step too far off the base, even by one millimeter, Simmons has already calculated where and when to throw the ball for the out.
Of course, Simmons also knows that it's sometimes the throws you don't make that are the most important.
5. Constant reinvention
While other players play within the rules, assuming that which has always been will always be, Simmons refuses to stop there. His mind is constantly working, constantly striving to find newer and better ways to get players out.
Sure, tossing his glove in the air would have resulted in an automatic three bases had he made contact, but the world's greatest researchers all know you have to make one thousand mistakes before you make your perfect discovery.