Braves' Simmons wins first career Gold Glove
It's official: Andrelton Simmons wrapped up one of the greatest defensive seasons on record with his first career Gold Glove.
The National League's top choice at shortstop was announced along with the other winners by Rawlings late Tuesday night. The 24-year-old shortstop turned heads throughout the 2013 regular season with his fielding wizardry — even drawing comparisons to The Wizard, Ozzie Smith — and he deservedly beat out the league's other two finalists at the position, Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) and Ian Desmond (Nationals).
Simmons becomes the first Braves shortstop to win a Gold Glove.
As pointed out when the finalists were announced last week, Simmons was in a league of his own at shortstop this season. With 41 defensive runs saved, both Simmons and Arizona's Gerardo Parra (right fielder) set the highest-ever mark in the 11-season history of the statistic tracked by Baseball Info Solutions. The next-closest shortstops in either league were Pittsburgh's Clint Barmes and Minnesota's Pedro Florimon … tied at 12 runs saved. As for Tulowitzki and Desmond:
Andrelton Simmons: 41Troy Tulowitzki: 6Ian Desmond: -3
It was never going to be close.
Simmons was one of two Braves finalists for the top defensive award per position, as Jason Heyward was vying for his second-consecutive Gold Glove in right field. However, due to stiff competition and various injuries, Heyward was not the top choice in right field, relinquishing the honor to Parra.
On Tuesday night, though, the story was Simmons' defensive work being officially recognized for the first time.
Don't expect it to be the last.