Simmons named NL rookie of the month – updated

Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was named National League rookie of the month for June, his first month in the major leagues. It’s been that kind of start for the dynamic 22-year-old from Curacao.

Simmons, a second-round pick by the Braves in 2010, was brought up May 30 to stabilize their infield defense and whatever he brought offensively would be a bonus. In addition to playing stellar defense at shortstop, Simmons went out and hit .333 (30-for-90) with six doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs in 25 games in June.

“It’s pretty special,” Simmons said. “First month, I played well, worked hard. To be named rookie of the month – that’s a big accomplishment for me.”

His batting average for the month led all NL rookies, as did his on-base percentage (.365), and his .522 slugging percentage was second highest among NL rookies.

He played his first game on June 2 against Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg on a day Strasburg was at his nastiest (nine strikeouts in seven innings). Simmons went 0-for-3 with three groundouts but had one of the hardest hit balls of the day, when he hit into a double play off Strasburg. Simmons collected his first major league hit the next day with a double off of Gio Gonzalez.

“I learned from the first day, I’ve got to be aggressive,” Simmons said. “Don’t be afraid of the pitchers. If you get your pitch to hit early in the count, go ahead, especially in the No. 8 hole. I’ve been seeing the ball really well. I’m working with the coaches a lot in the cages, stuff I feel I need to work on to get better, and it’s been paying off.”

Simmons has also earned a great deal of respect from his Braves teammates, like catcher Brian McCann.

“The way I look at it is what he does defensively is unbelievable and anything he brings offensively is a bonus,” McCann said. “And the guy happens to be hitting with guys in scoring position, seems to be getting the big hit, hitting .330. He’s doing everything. He’s mature. He expects to be here, he expects to produce at a high level, and he’s a big-time athlete. I don’t think there’s much he can’t do.”

This is the fifth consecutive season the Braves have had a player win rookie of the month honors, including Jair Jurrjens (June, 2008), Tommy Hanson (June, 2009), Jason Heyward (April and May, 2010), Craig Kimbrel (June and August, 2011) and Freddie Freeman (July, 2011).

14 comments Add your comment

David from Athens, AL

July 2nd, 2012
6:25 pm

durrtydogg

July 2nd, 2012
6:29 pm

OTP

July 2nd, 2012
6:30 pm

Congratulations, young man!

JoshTown

July 2nd, 2012
6:35 pm

TexasRose

July 2nd, 2012
6:50 pm

Kid’s a winner all the way around!

MELDOR

July 2nd, 2012
6:51 pm

Congrats, and keep up the good work!

AdirondackDave

July 2nd, 2012
7:02 pm

What a breath of fresh air Simmons brings to the club. Great composure, intelligence and attitude to go along with talent. I expect a few slumps along the way, but there may be no stopping this kid from stardom.

Mike Lum

July 2nd, 2012
7:15 pm

It would be nice to see Simmons in the race for ROY, though it looks like the media has all but given it to that kid in DC.

DaveinNEPA

July 2nd, 2012
7:53 pm

This kid appears to be a keeper.

One Big Dummy

July 2nd, 2012
11:38 pm

This kid is of one of the untouchables.

Tyler

July 3rd, 2012
8:51 am

Ahhh…so that is how it’s done.

ramram

July 3rd, 2012
1:44 pm

don’t forget chipper wuz robbedof the big one by a nobodyon the west coast, hope he gives a few pointers

Bob the Blogger

July 3rd, 2012
5:26 pm

I expected him to take some lumps when he came up, but he’s dishing out lumps!

Skeezix

July 3rd, 2012
9:10 pm

About the only good news we’ve had lately. Congrats to Andrelton!

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