The Jadeite Jewel: There’s No Stopping Him

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.

Round 2: Low vs. Superman

Low

Editor’s Pitch: When you watch the slo-mo replay at the end, it is obvious this play wasn’t as easy as Simmons made it look, because he couldn’t figure out how to catch it. He thought about going down to a knee, realized he needed to move more to get closer to the ball, and then just went to a knee and slid at the same time. That meant he was essentially tripping over his own foot when he caught the ball. In real time, however, it didn’t look like a difficult play at all. He’s deceptively good.

Last round: Low beat High in a dogfight 22-21

Superman

Editor’s Pitch: Take a screen shot at 0:28 of this clip, throw a cape on the man, and you’ll discover the true identity of Superman. Clark Kent has nothing on Andrelton.

Last round: Superman beat Backup Extraordinaire 31-5

45 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel: There’s No Stopping Him”

  1. Damn new thread! I had a joke about Bryton Trepagnier…

    40 K’s and 32 BB’s in 52 IP. Maybe he’s got a future as a poet.

    (If he ever makes the bigs, we can call him Lord Bryton. Or just have fun calling him a different famous poet everynight. “Bring in Wordsworth, already,” etcetera.)

  2. Also, you’d be a fool to trade BJ’s contract straight up for Ryan Howard’s or Justin Verlander’s.

  3. For Howard I agree but Verlander only has 5 years left and is actually still a competent major league player. If the money is not inhibitive then you would do it. Not saying the Braves can take on Verlander’s money because obviously our owners are so poor, but if Upton was on the Dodgers they would absolutely trade for Verlander.

  4. It was my understanding that players who had been released were not considered for the list.

    I agree that Howard’s contract is less palatable than BJ’s, but some of the rating was based on how much harm the player inflicts upon his team, and payroll factors into that equation. Howard did manage to hit 23 HR last year, so there is also a perception that he provides some value, while Upton provides negative value to a team that can ill-afforc an albatross.

  5. Bryton Trepagnier – what a great name. TRAH PAHN yay?

    Andres Thomas. The poster boy for the terrible Braves teams of that era.

    Superman.

  6. Fwiw, Ryan Howard had a -0.3WAR and BJ Upton posted a 0.4WAR last season. No one would trade Upton for Howard

  7. According to Baseball reference, Andres Thomas was worth -5.8 WAR over his 5+ year career. Over the last 3 seasons of that career, he averaged -1.7 WAR per season. In 2185 career plate appearances, he walked just 59 times. In 3 of his 5 seasons, he posted an OPS+ below 60. In his putrid 1989 season, he wasn’t the worst player on his team–that was Darrell Evans in his farewell Braves tour. That 1989 team wasted one of the all-time great individual seasons for a Brave: the 8.8 WAR of Lonnie Smith. I’m trying to imagine the rationale of not trading a 33-year-old Smith for prospects that year…

  8. If only Ole Skates had saved a little bit of that WAR for the 91 WS. Maybe the Braves don’t have the success in 91 without him, but you’re right, its hard not to see a similar situation in this era where he doesn’t get traded for future value assets.

  9. Smith had a lot of baggage. He had a history of drug problems. From what I understand, he didn’t get along with management at any of the stops in his career. He ended up with the Braves because no one else wanted him; and that tells you something, because he still had skills. So even when he had his comeback, teams were still leery of the guy.

  10. Every time I start to get depressed about the Braves, I think to myself “Well, I could be a Phillies fan” and my frown turns upside down. They’re “rebuilding”, but without trading any of their assets or acquiring any interesting young players.

  11. @19

    Yeah, say what you want about losing Heyward, Upton, and Gattis, but the future does look bright for us. I’m just not looking forward to waiting for it.

  12. @15, actually he did save some of it for the WS. I just looked it up, he OPS’d .910 for the series. Without that, there is no Game 7 – and no base running blunder which I’m sure you’re referring to.

  13. I’d say the future looks bright for the Cubs. It has taken a long time, but they appear to have a lot of talent in the pipeline.

  14. Chipper, next time you have a thought & decide to share it via social media, do everyone (including yourself) a favor & just let it go.

  15. @25: He should also probably refrain from retweeting or responding to Harvey Updyke for any reason (30 Jan)..

  16. Random announcement. I will be drinking at the EARL next Tuesday night. Random rock act. No idea what the sound like. Just supporting a buddy who books shows. Come out and enjoy the live Sam experience.

  17. “My apologies for my Sandy Hook tweet yest. I had heard something from someone which I thought to be credible and tweeted w/out researching.”

    “It was irresponsible of me to do that and will not happen again. Please accept my heartfelt apology to those who were hurt or offended.”

    The odds Hoss knows the meaning of credible are all yours boys.

  18. @19 – If it makes you feel better to gloat about being #29 while the Phillies are #30, go ahead. But Even if they don’t have the farm system the Braves have they still have the best asset you can have in baseball – $$$. I’d rather have the deep pockets myself, unless the Braves plan on bottoming out for a while and getting back-to-back #1 picks naitionals style. Amaro won’t b sound forever, unfortunately.

  19. The FBI apparently released crime stats for 2012 and had the number of murders for Sandy Hook listed at 0 which of course means “they have confirmed it as a hoax”. People of all walks of life are painfully credulous, I am afraid.

  20. Yes. Chipper Jones has been a professional baseball player more or less since he turned 10 and everyone realized how much better he was at it than anyone else. He’s never been to college except to pick up coeds. He doesn’t really run in high-end fact-checking circles. When you’re the guy in a locker room full of jocks who gets the “Hoss” nickname, you’re not passing many SAT entrance exams.

    That said, if you spotted him a knee, I’d bet you even odds he could still outhit half of the Braves current roster.

  21. The intended audience of every tweet is the people who want to hear what you have to say. I tend to blame news channels for these things.

    If Schoenfield’s expectations are representative, I think this team will surprise some people. They’ll get more production from SS, 3B, and CF (Simmons is a better hitter than what he showed, CJ and BJ will almost certainly play better or be replaced). The pitching may miss Heyward and possibly Harang but should still be very good.

    The five worst teams in baseball by record allowed between 723 and 818 runs last season. They were all within the bottom 6 in run prevention. The Braves allowed 597.

    Teams that can’t hit can’t compete, but the wheels come off teams that can’t pitch. This won’t be a garbage fire.

  22. @36

    Yeah, that was my question too. I suppose between rushing Peraza, KJ, Callaspo, Gosselin, and Peterson, someone has to be able to be league average at second and third. They very clearly chose versatility in who they acquired as KJ and Callaspo both play second and third.

    As for BJ, I don’t know who can replace him. We kinda traded our entire outfielder. Almonte and Toscano don’t look like every day players. Then again, neither does BJ. I could see some sort of outfield where Toscano/Almonte/Gomes/Markakis share at-bats.

    Do you guys struggle to remember the names of our players now? I obviously follow the players fairly closely, but I’m struggling to remember who’s penciled into certain spots of the roster. There’s a very real scenario where our lineup is this:

    Markakis
    Callaspo
    Freeman
    Toscano
    Almonte
    Peterson
    Simmons
    Bethancourt

    It’s like that scene at the beginning of Major League where the groundspeople (one of which played by the very underrated Neil Flynn) says, “Who are these people?” Has a team ever changed 6/8 of their lineup?

  23. You are correct in that they clearly went with multi-positional options with the near-majors acquisitions. I agree that someone between Johnson, Gosselin, Callaspo, KJ and Peterson will likely fall into a league average 3B. I also think you need to throw Eury Perez into the CF mix as well. He’s a faster, defensively better Jose Constanza.

  24. I was going to throw in Eury Perez, but that guy really looks like he can’t bat a lick. At least Constanza could lick a bat! HEY-O!!

  25. @36 Someone at least marginally better. BJ isn’t out there because no one can outplay him, he’s out there because he’s been good and they hope he could be good again. If he doesn’t return to form, someone without the upside will be below average in his place.

  26. This is a very depressing lineup regardless of how I look at it. I don’t think this team can win even if we have the Big 3 at their prime.

  27. @37
    haha, exactly! Maybe some former showgirl at Liberty Media secretly plans to move the team to Florida.

  28. According to rWAR, BJ Upton is below replacement level defensively in center, but not by much. Replacement level fielders in CF are not that easy to come by, but you’d give away a few runs defensively to not have an out machine in the lineup.

    I don’t understand dWAR, but I seem to remember that it is more outcome-based than oWAR. I wonder if not having Heyward to catch half his balls will hurt BJ’s defensive metrics. Or maybe having Heyward catch half his balls hurt BJ’s metrics. I’m confused.

  29. @44

    I think BJ’s declining fielding metrics have more to do with his age than whoever his RF partner may be.

    But if you kind of blend his defensive ratings together you probably have something around average in the field with BJ.

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