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Simmons named Defensive Player of Year

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Shortstop Andrelton Simmons extended the near-annual tradition of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award being given to a Braves player when he took home the honor on Wednesday.

Simmons became the third different Braves player to be named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year since the award was first presented after the 2012 season. Center fielder Michael Bourn won the inaugural award, and right fielder Jason Heyward gained the honor last year. The only non-Braves player to win the award was former D-backs right fielder Gerardo Parra in 2013.

"I think [Simmons] is the best defensive player in the history of the game," Braves general manager John Coppolella said. "I think he's somebody who brings so much value. When you've got young pitching behind him, outs are outs and hits are outs."

Many Braves fans were not happy on Tuesday night, when Simmons was not named the National League's Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop for a third consecutive season. That honor went to Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.

But there wasn't any reason to bicker on Wednesday night, when Wilson gave Simmons its top honor.

Wilson determined its Defensive Player of the Year Award winners with a formula that includes traditional defensive stats, advanced metrics and information gathered by Inside Edge.

Simmons led all NL shortstops this past year in Defensive Runs Saved (25), Ultimate Zone Rating (17.3) and FanGraphs' Defensive Runs Above Average (23.9), which accounts for fielding runs and positional adjustment. Since the start of the 2013 season, Simmons has been awarded a Major League-best 94 DRS. Heyward ranks second with 69. Cincinnati's Zack Cozart and Crawford are tied for second among NL shortstops during that span with 30.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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