Simmons' sparkling defense nets GIBBY Award
ATLANTA -- Less than three full seasons into his Major League career, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons has already compiled a collection of defensive honors that would make a veteran proud.
Simmons added another honor to his portfolio, recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year when MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards (GIBBY) were announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Saturday night.
Major League Baseball's A-listers won 2014 GIBBY trophies based on votes by broadcasters, reporters, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature winners in 25 categories. Besides Simmons' nod, individual honors went to the Most Valuable Major Leaguer, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, everyday player, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout everyday player, breakout pitcher, bounceback player, manager, executive and postseason MVP.
Simmons has drawn comparisons to Ozzie Smith and legitimized himself as baseball's top shortstop since making his Major League debut midway through the 2012 season. The 88 Defensive Runs he has been credited with over the past three seasons are more than the combined totals of J.J. Hardy (36) and Zack Cozart (35), who rank second and third among shortstops during this span, according to FanGraphs.
Atlanta's prized shortstop once again dominated the advanced defensive metrics categories, producing a 15.5 Ultimate Zone Rating and an 18.4 UZR scaled to 150 games, according to FanGraphs.com. Cozart ranked second among NL shortstops in both categories, with a 12.1 UZR and a 13.0 UZR/150.
At the conclusion of both of the past two seasons, Simmons has captured a Rawlings Gold Glove Award and been recognized as the NL's top shortstop courtesy of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
GIBBY trophies also were awarded for the year's top regular-season play, outfield throw, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment, postseason storyline, postseason walk-off and postseason play.
In the past several seasons, fans have cast millions of votes across the GIBBY categories, none of which are restricted to individual league affiliation. That's how you know the GIBBYs consider the best of the best.
All 30 clubs were represented among the award candidates, which is a testament to the competitive balance around the game.