ATLANTA — With his Braves teammates toiling away in the Grapefruit League, shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been one of the premier stars of the World Baseball Classic, the international tournament his Netherlands team is still alive in.
With surprising displays of power from the leadoff spot (two home runs), Simmons ranks highly in most major batting categories. Paired with his defensive prowess, which already classified him as an elite defensive player as a rookie, Simmons has garnered praise in bunches this preseason.
In 2012, Simmons hit .289 with three home runs and 17 runs scored, but he’ll be expected to shoulder a greater load with former leadoff man Michael Bourn in Cleveland.
By the looks of his WBC performance, Simmons is more than capable of filling the role for what looks to be a potent offense. Our team — Zach Dillard, Cory McCartney and Jay Clemons — discuss the young shortstops’ future and potential; here are some of the highlights:
— Should the Braves be concerned at all with Simmons’ display of power during the WBC? Could he develop a Willie Mays Hayes Syndrome?
— What is Simmons’ ceiling as a player? Are the Alex Rodriguez comparisons warranted?
— In the wake of Saturday Night Live’s return of classic duos, which baseball duos would our writers most want to see reunited? Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig? Maris and Mantle? Schilling and Johnson? The list goes on.