The Jadeite Jewel: Anything’s Possible

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: You Shall Not Pass vs. On the World Stage

You Shall Not Pass

Editor’s Pitch: I’m really not sure how Simmons got to this ball. He had to dive, obviously, but then he had to reach up to actually catch it. I wouldn’t have guessed his arms were long enough to make this play, but the one lesson I have learned from watching Andrelton for three years is to always expect the impossible. And this certainly looks impossible.

Last Round: You Shall Not Pass beat The Ballerina 39-1.

On the World Stage
Note: The very first play shown in this clip is the play in competition.

Editor’s Pitch: Simmons’s skills are not confined to the regular season. He was in mid-season form in March, during the World Baseball Classic. Seeing a 6-3 double play is not rare, but seeing a 6-3 double play from centerfield is very rare. He was once again in an area most shortstops never see, and he once again made an incredible play and was ready to throw immediately. In this case, he was able to get a second out. I know I just said it, but it bears repeating: his instincts are incredible.

Last Round: On the World Stage beat Out of His Way 28-10.

68 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel: Anything’s Possible”

  1. RE: signing Matt Capps and Jose Veras

    Sign me up with the “it doesn’t hurt to make Luis Avilan, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime earn their roster spots in spring. (Also worth noting that Shae Simmons ended last year on the DL with shoulder pain, so it’s not wise to assume he’s a ML roster piece out of the gate this year either.)

    It’s the bullpen. Throw warm bodies at it.

  2. I like the Capps and Veras signings, but what were the Cubs smoking when they signed Veras to a 2 year $9.5 million deal to serve as closer? Veras appears to have the potential to be a slightly above league average reliever, but nothing in his major or minor league resume points to closer material. Am I missing something? I’m glad the Cubs ate that money and not us.

  3. Even though it is not as much money, I hope that we are going to be wondering the same about Jim Johnson’s contract…..

  4. Along the same lines, I wonder if the Braves are among the teams taking a look at Albers, Zito or even McGowan….

  5. I don’t understand the consensus opinion that Moncada will receive a bonus between $30M-40M. To me the numbers are mind boggling. Why would teams feel the need to throw that much money at him? Here’s a Cuban that’s been living on $500 per month (estimated). Why wouldn’t he jump at $5M? Why would teams feel the need to go higher? Where else will he go? Japan?

  6. @8
    If scouting reports are true, Moncada would likely become Baseball’s #1 prospect as soon as he’s signed, or at least top-3. From there, he has 6 years of Major League control once he reaches the majors, but that doesn’t have to be right away. If a team, such as the Dodgers, chose to have Moncada marinate in the Minors for 2 years, they could have him in his age 21-26 seasons with 3 years at 600K/year, then 3 years at a projected 12MM/year.

    If you were guaranteed to have the #1 prospect in all of baseball in your organization for 6-8 years at a cost of 110 million, and you had the money, would you do it? I sure would.

  7. @8
    There is a big difference in what Moncada would accept and what some team will offer. This is the beauty of competition and supply and demand. He will be paid what the highest bidder feels they must pay him to get him.

    Unless you’re suggesting the bidders collude against him to drive down his market price. It’s happened before, but it’s not permitted.

  8. @7 This is just warming everyone up for the next round, when things are going to get even more impossible…

  9. @4 Good for them. Unless the Braves can find some magic in a platoon bottle and shock their fans, front office, and the rest of the world with a successful season and postseason run, then I would love to see the Padres find some success. It seems like every offseason there’s an aggressive team that looks great on paper but then flops out of the gate, and I fear that could be the Padres this year. I hope not, though, because I would really like to see an NL team that I don’t despise in the World Series this year.

  10. You have to have a 60% chance of generating 4 WAR a year for 6 years. If he is Trout, it works great. If he is Bryce Harper, you probably do o.k. So, it is a risky proposition.

  11. Thanks a lot ‘Rissa, this is sooo much fun!

    I had a really hard time deciding with this one, but went for “On the world stage”, based on the fact that it seems to be the even more rare one.

    You’re right, though, I can imagine it’s going to be REALLY hard to decide in the next round.

  12. Of course there is room for a fine physical specimen such as Coffey. The bullpen needs horses, after all. Well, maybe it needs humans as big as horses.

  13. OK, I think I’ve figured it out: the Braves, in an effort to overhaul their medical and training staff, are accumulating all of these post-Tommy John veterans as part of a research study. The goal is to gather as much data as possible in-house in order to delay Alex Wood’s (and Kimbrel’s, and Teheran’s) inevitable TJ surgeries.

    Because what else are we going to do this year anyway?

  14. I really like what we are doing with our pen. Some of these guys will be in AAA, but will be able to come up and not miss a beat.

    This team is being built to win a lot of 2-1 games. I’m staring to buy the hype.

  15. IMO, Veras is the only 1 of the 3 recent signees that has a shot at the Opening Day roster, and probably the only one with an opt-out clause.

    Coffey and Capps could potentially make it to the roster to be traded at the deadline. Honestly, I think the trade deadline, where the Braves ship out almost half of their roster, will be the most exciting part of the 2015 year at the Major League level.

    Get MILB.TV.

  16. @csg
    None. Those international signings of 16-18 year old players with very generic names are vacant from the interwebs.

    Of note, Peraza rated fastest runner among top 100 prospects through this system:

  17. @24, what hype? Is there really hype? Maybe from John Hart?

    Everything I’ve seen on Braves projects us to be one of the 5 worst teams in MLB. I think we’ve got a shot to be something like the 10th worst team.

  18. @32

    The comments in that article are the opposite of what I took from that article. If they play the platoons right, that could be a productive outfield. From an offensive standpoint, I wouldn’t be surprised if Markakis outperforms Heyward. We’ll have something different (may not be better, but different) this year in CF, and Gomes/Almonte/Toscano could provide 80% of what JUpton provided.

    Is it not inevitable at this point that we will need to designate someone under 30 in the bullpen for assignment in order to make room for one of these journeymen? Or do you think we’re prepared to release some or most of these guys in Spring Training if a young player is out-performing them? So hard to read that.

  19. I think they are literally throwing warm bodies at the pen, because they used some of their established guys as pieces in the trade frenzy this winter. And our best young guy (Shae Simmons) is recovering form shoulder pain.

  20. Regarding Braves Journal Fantasy Baseball…

    Renewed the Yahoo Braves Journal Crowhoppers league. If you participated last year and don’t want to be apart of the madness, please email me at cothrjr at hotmail dot com. If you would like to participate, email me at the same address.

  21. Why would we sign Olivera? Isn’t he 30? I guess if Hart is serious about contending in 2015, it would make sense. He’d be replacing one of our 3 out-machines (Chris Johnson).

    So if it costs $15 mil over 3 years to sign Olivera, do we have to pay some kind of tax on that? How do the international bonus pools work? Do they apply to Olivera? I’m confused.

  22. Olivera is old enough that the international bonus stuff doesn’t apply. He’s a straight free agent.

    He’s also apparently looking for Rusney Castillo money, so I doubt 3/$15MM would get it done, FWIW.

  23. Has our team ever been this poorly defined this far into the offseason? Even in the years we’ve stunk, we knew who was actually going to be stinking.

  24. I think Olivera looks good, but do we really need him with Peterson, Peraza, and Albies? All 3 are trade pieces, but I like all 3 and Albies is my favorite prospect on the farm. I guess one may end up at CF.

  25. I believe Peraza was mentioned as a centerfield possibility before the house cleaning began. I’d rather he be there than the incumbent.

  26. DOB mentioned that we signed Coffey to a minor league deal with NO ST invite. I guess we can stash him in AAA and some of these other guys. We could be very active this season. I like the strategy of these 1 year vets coming in, esp with us trying to build for the future. I also wouldn’t be surprised if we look to move Markakis around the deadline either.

    In regards to our W/L predictions, put me down for 78-84

  27. Shea Simmons underwent Tommy John surgery today? That came out of nowhere. I mean, better get it out of the way now when we’ve already given up the season for lost and have a million options for the bullpen…but I feel like one reason to actually watch the Braves this season was just taken away.

  28. Please don’t say down goes Simmons without specifying which one. Thought you meant Andrelton at first

    @DOBrienAJC: #Braves pitcher Shae Simmons had Tommy John surgery today. Out for the season.

  29. I have to say that if the season isn’t very interesting at least spring training will have a lot of drama. There will be a long list of veterans and prospects vying for several positions. Should be kind of fun.

  30. I’m so sick of all our pitching prospects getting TJ. This is ridiculous. Or maybe we just sacrificed Simmons’ UCL to satisfy the TJ-Gods and keep their filthy mitts of Teheran and Wood.

  31. @mlbbowman: Differing reports about NRI Matt Capps. The #Braves say they clocked him at 92 mph. Others who’ve seen him said he’s closer to 80 mph.

    At least it’s close

  32. It really makes me sad that Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy aren’t Atlanta Braves anymore. I feel like this offseason is one ripped band aid after another: necessary, but really stings.

  33. @55 Honestly, I believe this has been discussed multiple times here. I don’t understand why nothing has been done on this area….or we didn’t know about the changes?

  34. If you were a stud pitcher and you were drafted by the braves …would you sign? It’s basically a guaranteed TJ…

  35. #56–Medical issues have been a glaring problem: I am guessing that they have made changes that were not well publicized…I also wonder if it will affect the way the Braves evaluate arms before the draft….again I doubt that we would ever know…..

  36. Are the injuries really related to medical staff incompetence, or to coaching? The injuries are the result of throwing baseballs. The coaching staff develops the throwing program and expects pitchers to follow it. Could the throwing program be the culprit?

  37. You really have to wonder what is going on with our TJ rates. Are we drafting guys with small frames and their arms just can’t take it?

    Why did they wait so long with Simmons? Now he may miss part of next season too.

  38. Rickie Weeks just signed with the Mariners for 1 year / $2M (plus up to $2M in performance bonuses), and Seattle is going to use him at 2B and OF. It strikes me that he would’ve been a far better fit for the Braves than paying Jonny Gomes 2 years / $7M+.

  39. I disagree. Weeks seems the type of player that the Braves are trying to avoid. Low OBP and K’s a lot. Gomes is still a useful platoon player.

  40. 62—They didn’t wait. They said he started feeling elbow discomfort a week or two ago. Last season’s issue (shoulder) appears to have been entirely separate.

  41. @64 Before you make statements like that perhaps you should check out Weeks’ and Gomes’ batting lines – they’re extremely similar, except Weeks projects for slightly fewer walks and strikeouts. Throw in the fact that Weeks is 2 years younger and (relatively to Gomes) provides more defensive and baserunning value, and has been valuable more recently – the clear edge goes to Weeks.

    Honestly, the Braves might still prefer Gomes to Weeks because Gomes is perceived as a great character guy while Weeks is not. That said, “team chemistry” is far more the result of winning than the cause of it.

  42. A lot of the chatter is that rising incidence of TJ has to do with pitchers throwing harder more often when they’re younger, in order to get scouts’ attention, etc.

    Who knows if that’s correct. We may be more susceptible because of the type of pitchers we target in the draft, and if that’s true, then unless we change a big part of our organizational strategy, we’ll be susceptible for a generation’s worth of pitchers at least because it’s not like young pitchers/their parents/scouts/coaches are changing their behavior as of now.

    This is a lot of ifs, but if all of this is the case, perhaps the Braves are doing the right/only thing just by hoarding pitchers.

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