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Simmons vying for 3rd straight Gold Glove

ATLANTA -- It has been easy to assume Andrelton Simmons might gain the same unique defensive distinction earned by fellow Curacao native Andruw Jones, who won 10 consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards while he was playing for the Braves.

Simmons has won a Gold Glove Award after each of his first two full seasons at the Major League level. But his bid for a third consecutive year will depend on how National League managers and coaches compared his defensive prowess to that possessed by San Francisco's Brandon Crawford and Miami's Adeiny Hechavarria.

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Simmons, Crawford and Hechavarria are the three finalists selected to win the Gold Glove for NL shortstops this season. The winners will be announced during a one-hour show that will air on ESPN on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. ET.

Each manager and as many as six coaches from every staff cast their votes in September, with the stipulation that they could not vote for their own players. This is the second year, Rawlings has used a sabermetric component to account for 25 percent of the vote selection total.

Simmons led all NL shortstops 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. Hechavarria had a slight advantage (17.7 to 17.5) over the Braves shortstop in the UZR/150 category.

Since making his Major League debut during the 2012 season, Simmons has established himself as one of baseball's most exciting defensive players. Had he not been injured a month into his rookie season, he might currently be bidding for a fourth consecutive Gold Glove Award.

Simmons has been awarded a Major League-best 94 DRS since the start of the 2013 season. Former Braves right fielder Jason Heyward ranks second with 69. Cincinnati's Zack Cozart and Crawford are tied for second among NL shortstops during this span with 30.

If Simmons wins a third consecutive Gold Glove Award, he could also capture the Platinum Glove Award for the second time in three years. This honor is given to the player fans deem to be the game's top overall defender.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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