The Jadeite Jewel: It Doesn’t Get Easier

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: Slip ‘N Slide vs. The Pop-Up Throw

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 beat Lost Your Feet 43-6.

The Pop-Up Throw

Editor’s Pitch: Double plays are one of the prettiest things in baseball, but when Andrelton Simmons is involved their beauty is worthy of masterpiece status. This play is just so smooth, yet it involved running, sliding, getting up, and throwing. He did all of those things so well he killed two Cardinals with one stone. That alone is worthy of accolades and adulation.

Last Round: The Pop-Up Throw beat Take the Easy Out 43-3

17 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel: It Doesn’t Get Easier”

  1. Over at TT we have posted the 16-20 prospects according to our writers and are going to put up 11-15 today. Won’t link, just mention.

  2. From Adam R last thread

    The one misgiving I had with this account is that KJ slashed .284/.370/.496 with the DBacks the year after we nontendered him. He was a 5.5 WAR monster at his peak, not so much a journeyman in the making. Sure, it was driven by a BABIP spike, but if the Braves cared about those kinds of things, then maybe they might have predicted some bounceback, given that his BABIP was just .247 in his last year with the club. According to the rate stats, KJ was the same player in 2008.

    We’re kinda dumb sometimes, is what I’m saying.

    If you go back and analyze the early part of KJ’s career, KJ always hit LH’d pitching better than Rh’rs. So of course our strategy was to platoon him and only start him against righties. The Braves philosophy is/was that everyone has to hit opposite hand pitchers with more success.

  3. For his career, KJ has a very slight platoon split favoring lefties, which is pretty unusual. You wouldn’t have wanted the Braves to follow a small sample size to assume that Kelly had a reverse platoon split, unlike the vast majority of hitters. I think Kelly’s streakiness was not simply a function of platooning. He was just a guy who had a couple of really good years in his mid- to late-20s and who hasn’t been very good since turning 30. Nothing too terribly surprising.

  4. He was just a guy who had a couple of really good years in his mid- to late-20s and who hasn’t been very good since turning 30. Nothing too terribly surprising.

    And it’s not a coincident that his power spike came at The BOB.

  5. @6

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    $2 a month to a guy somewhere in Canada who is doing God’s work on this issue.

    Clip and save.

  6. #5
    Yup. Not that it ever kept me up nights, but in KJ’s first year in AZ, he hit like Manny Ramirez (311/396/580) at home & hit like KJ (257/343/411) on the road.

  7. It’s disconcerting that I find myself agreeing with Edward more as time goes by. I too voted for slip ‘n slide.

    Thank you, ‘Rissa.

  8. His strikeout rate just exploded after his banner year. Anyone’s guess as to how much he was selling out for power or how much, as someone who wasn’t ever regarded as all that athletic, his skills just abandoned him.

  9. @10 – Yes.

    He put a little uppercut into his swing when he wen to AZ and with the short porches, it worked. Slugged 580 at home, as ububba notes. Then when he left AZ, that whole process backfired on him. That said, I’d want to track his K-rate increase against the league’s K-rate increase over the same time frame before saying he completely lost it overnight. A lot of people started striking out more over the last 10 years.

  10. @8 The “road KJ” level production from his 2010 DBacks season – a .257/.343/.411 slash line – would be an unfathomably massive upgrade for the Braves. As hard (or easy?) as this may be to believe, the 2015 Braves have only one regular starter whose 2014 OBP exceeded .343 (Freeman) or 2014 SLG exceeded .411 (hi Freddie!) *or* whose OBP/SLG is projected to exceed .343/.411 in 2015 (gee… Freeman again).

    If we’re looking for silver linings here – KJ wouldn’t have to do a whole lot in 2015 at the plate in order to amount to a short-term upgrade for the Braves (until Peraza’s ready, that is).

  11. And the cherry on top is we can all write “Road KJ!” whenever he takes a walk or hits a double.

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