Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/9/14

Entering spring training, the presumptive replacement at short for Alex Gonzalez was 22 year old Tyler Pastornicky. Given how the spring has unfolded, that may not in fact be the case. Andrelton Simmons, a 22 year old from Curacao (home of former Brave Andruw Jones and current starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens) has turned heads with flashy defense and a strong arm, and hasn’t been too bad at the plate, either. Simmons is hitting .294 (5 for 17) so far this spring, and has only struck out three times in 19 plate appearances, with two walks.

Per AJC beat writer Dave O’Brien, “There is growing speculation around camp that Simmons will get serious consideration for the shortstop job over fellow 22-year-old Tyler Pastornicky, the rookie thought to have the job entering camp.”. When camp opened, Simmons was a non-roster invitee, and has yet to play any higher than high-A ball in the minors. Should he make the roster and earn the starting shortstop spot, his rise would mirror that of another player that bypassed AA and AAA on the way to the bigs, former Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal.

In what has been an uneven spring for the Braves thus far, things are starting to look up. Along with Simmons’ impressive performance, 2B Dan Uggla and RF Jason Heyward seem to be rounding into form, and the young pitching staff is showing signs of improvement. The team will need all of those pieces to gel sooner rather than later, as the NL East looks to be one of the more competitive divisions in baseball yet again.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Farrell: Pitchers need an approved gripping substance

Cam Newton: Nobody has ever been who I'm trying to be

Bears cut Ray McDonald after domestic violence arrest

Report: Paul Pierce could opt out of contract, join Clippers

Report: NBA exploring moving start of Finals up

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Isaiah Thomas: Danny Ainge wants my input on free agents

Brian Matusz suspended eight games for substance on arm

Baseball players in the military: A tribute

'Free Tom Brady' rally draws about 150 Patriots fans

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

WATCH: Khris Davis trolls umps after controversial homer

Is Adrian Peterson leveraging himself out of the league?

Mascot creates controversy with 'Police Lives Matter' sign

The Talented Mr. Blatt

The curious case of Frank Kaminsky

Is the Cavs' Matthew Dellavedova a dirty player?

LeBron lifts Cavaliers to brink of Finals, but are they ready?

Will Phil Jackson give himself a chance to succeed with Knicks?

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

Could the NBA Finals be moved up?

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

Ballplayers in the military: A tribute

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.