Angels SS Andrelton Simmons unexpectedly opted-ut of the final week of the season, as is his right in this Covid-impacted season based on the agreement between the Players Union and MLB. Of course the irony here is that if there is one major leaguer who has shared social media memes questioning the veracity of the virus and its impact it is “AndrelQanon” Simmons himself!
While the Angels have the option of giving him a Qualified Offer – a one-year approximately $17 million deal, they appear to be so deep at middle infield there is a good chance that they will not make that offer. His opt-out probably indicates some disappointment that the club did not pursue a multi-year deal with him. If this is the end of the road for the Angels and Andrelton Simmons, let’s take a look at what he has accomplished over five seasons as an Angel in Anaheim.
We can certainly say he was the greatest defensive middle infielder in franchise history, among many of his contributions to the club. Of 708 possible games in which he could have played (Four 162-game seasons and one 60-Game season) he played in 561, so the nagging “what if” over his injuries will always color his stay here.
•Had 2020 been a full season we might be looking at a new franchise leader in Defensive Wins Above Replacement (dWAR). Barring a return next year, he leaves with 13.0 dWAR, second only to Bob Boone in franchise history.
•Simba is one of 43 Angels players with 2,000 or more Plate Appearances and one of 51 Position Players to appear in 500 or more games wearing a Halo.
•Although not known as an offensive player, his .281 batting average as an Angel is tied for 15th best in club history (for Angels players with 1,500 or more Plate Appearances, of which there have been 73) and his 11.1 Offensive Wins Above Replacement (oWAR) is tied with Don Baylor for 29th best among Angels. His adjusted OPS+ is 96, but he’s tied with Darin Erstad for 44th all time.
•A lot of his advanced stats place him in the mid-30s among Angels batters because of his low walk rate, but as a contact hitter who did not walk very much, he didn’t strike out much either – his 10.9 AB/K is tied for 10th with the franchise.
•Do you remember: He was 8th in the 2017 A.L. MVP voting and 15th in the 2018 A.L. MVP voting?!?!
•He won 2 Gold Gloves at SS as an Angel. Perhaps another awaits him for his thirty games here in 2020?
•He was the Wilson Defensive Shortstop of the Year three times (2017, ’18, 19)… any chance he gets it for 2020?
In Baseball History…
Simba already ranks 14th in dWAR all time in baseball history after only nine seasons and his .981 fielding % ranks 9th all time in MLB history among Shortstops.
Can you say Cooperstown? You can if he keeps this up, it just doesn’t look like it will be in Los Angeles of Anaheim for him.
Photo by Rex Fregosi, Spring Training 2018