The Jadeite Jewel: The Semifinals, Part 1

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.

We’ve narrowed it down to the top four plays, but our work is not done yet. Keep those votes coming!

Semifinals: Shortstop…or Left Fielder? vs. Slip ‘N Slide

Shortstop…or Left Fielder?

Editor’s Pitch: No one saw this coming. All eyes were on Justin Upton, wondering if he would get to the ball in time, since the left fielder is really the only person who has a chance at that ball. The only problem is, Simmons does not think like the rest of the world, and he seems to be out to prove he could man the entire left side of a baseball field without any assistance if he needed to. He not only ran at full speed with his back to the infield toward a fence, he dove toward that same fence to make the catch without thought to personal safety. As if the effort itself wasn’t incredible enough, he actually made the catch and hung on for the out. That just doesn’t happen.

Last Round: Shortstop…or Left Fielder beat The Video Game, 30-20.

The Slip ‘N Slide

Editor’s Pitch: Simmons not only kept up with the path of the ball when his feet slipped out from under him, he caught it and threw it from his knee without any hesitation, as if he had planned to do it that way all along. His arm is strong enough that he got the out. From his knees. On the outfield grass. With a throw that was chest high when Freddie Freeman reached out to catch it. Chip Caray’s “Are you kidding me?” was spot on.

Last Round: The Slip ‘N Slide slid past Superman, 22-19.

50 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel: The Semifinals, Part 1”

  1. OK, so maybe not that bad, but still its annoying not to vote for Slip ‘n Slide. But I decided early on that the Left Fielder and League of His Own (the DP on the bunt/swing away play) were my top two, so I’ll be voting that way in the semis. When the Finals roll around, my head just might implode from AS’s sheer Awesomeness.

  2. Tomorrow ancient Braves fans will see the Braves play the Cards. This old guy will be wearing his first ever Braves player’s number and name. I’ll be sporting my new Simmons jersey. Put me in, coach.

    Shortstop or left fielder.

  3. @1

    If my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby YouTube clip of that catch in left field, I would be the proudest father in Braves Country.

  4. @1 – to be honest, the boy is kind of slow and stupid, and he’s not going to get by on your looks.

  5. #8 We should all look for a job in the Phillies organization. Sounds like a good employer!

  6. @neilsolondz: Per game notes, the #Rays have signed LHP Johnny Venters to a two-year minor league deal. Venters is recovering from his third TJ surgery

  7. Why would we not give Venters a two-year minor league deal? What do we know that they don’t, or vice versa? Seems like a low-risk thing for the Braves.

  8. The odds of Venters ever being an effective major league pitcher again are so low that even a minor league deal might not be worth it, and it’s not like decent relievers are a rare commodity.

    Reminder: Venters is recovering from his third TJ, and he hasn’t thrown a pitch since 2012.

    It’s sad, but we can’t keep paying the guy forever because of our warm fuzzy memories of O’Ventrel.

  9. @5 Too bad you don’t get to see him play today! Looks like a great day to be at the ballpark.

  10. Venters was as dominant as anyone I’ve ever seen for one season. I commented to a friend that the only way he would ever get scored on was when a string of hitters pounded the sinker into the dirt and reached on infield singles, which happened from time to time. But seriously, nothing was well hit off him that year.

    God bless, Jonny!

    @8, I agree Amaro is a total idiot, but he’s kind of in a tough spot with this question. Basically, the question is, “Amaro, after the Lee injury are you now more desperate to trade Hamels???”

    He has to say ‘no’ in some way or another, though he certainly came off looking like even more of an idiot in doing so.

  11. It turns out that Moylan’s deal is for him to become a player/coach in rookie league ball once he’s done rehabbing, which is nice.

  12. Sorry, peeps. We failed. I promise to attend no games that count unless the Braves do better Friday.

  13. The comments after that Amaro article…Phillies fans jealous of the Braves for knowing how to rebuild. Just a reminder that things could always be worse.

  14. EYJ had a good Minor League track record followed by years of mediocre to subpar Major League play. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for EYJ to be an average CFer with plus speed on the basepaths, and that is all it would take to receive fairly regular playing time for the Braves.

    If he were to somehow add .020 points to his career OBP, that would be very valuable.

    Keep hope alive.

  15. Challenge accepted… I’d say a guy pushing 30 who put up a 77 OPS to BJ’s 75 with only 44 games in CF and one year in his career of 350+ ab’s has a non trivial chance of being as bad. I hope not, but it’s not improbable.

  16. Eric Young, Jr. will be 30 in May, and after 1589 plate appearances over six major league seasons, it is fair to conclude that he is exactly who he is: a roughly average defender with a career triple slash of .252/.320/.332. (Both TotalZone and UZR have him with a negative number of fielding runs over his career.)

    The only outstanding question is whether he’s a fourth outfielder or a fifth outfielder.

  17. Guess its sad that we are comparing stats to someone who had an minor league invite to ST to the one that we still owe 3/$45m.

  18. None of the options are good. I suppose the goal is to see if he can be Charles Thomas or Jose Constanza for a couple months.

  19. First-half 2007 Willie Harris was so much fun to watch; looked him up on B-R to reminisce and he actually put up solid OBP’s for a few years after 2007. I’d much rather remember Willie Harris and Buddy Carlyle for 2007 than the trade. Although that trade probably wouldn’t have happened if those two, among others, hadn’t played over their heads that first half.

  20. EYJ’s BABIP from last year was .021 points below his career norm. If he could put up the offensive year he had with the Mets in 2013 combined with average defense, he’d be a valuable commodity, a 1.5 WAR player.

  21. EYJ in NY (i.e. not counting Denver) has a 30 point OPS lead on Melvin in Atlanta.

  22. How is Eury Perez doing? He really performed well in AAA.

    EYJ was 1.3 wins better than BJ Upton in 2014 according to BR.com. Too bad he was paid 14 million less.

  23. At least EYJ knows what his game is. I was rooting for Eury to win the CF job, because scouting reports suggest he’s actually a plus defender in CF. I guess I feel like he still has a chance to be a starting big league regular for a few years.

  24. LOL, Fredi got thrown out of a Spring Training game after his pitcher throws one pitch. I feel like this ump needs a little thicker skin.

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