Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 3/15/12

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.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Utah beats Michigan 24-17, ruins Jim Harbaugh’s debut

Patriots keep Tom Brady excitement close to vest

Wayne happy about Brady verdict: 'That's my quarterback'

Markieff Morris on Twitter: ‘My future will not be in Phoenix’

Jonathan Kraft on asking for draft picks: 'Never say never'

Redskins charge non-season ticket holders $50 to use will call


Arthur Blank on Roger Goodell: ‘Change may be appropriate’

Belichick gives typical reply to question about Brady's freedom

Goodell not attending season opener at Gillette Stadium

Jakub Voracek will donate $1,000 for every point he scores

Dwayne Bowe reportedly in danger of being cut by Browns

Slava Voynov taken into custody by U.S Immigration

Tim Tebow shines in Eagles’ final preseason game

Minnesota loses against TCU, but shows it belongs

Minnesota loses against TCU, but shows it belongs

Trevone Boykin’s Heisman bid off to rocky start against Minnesota

Michigan lost their opener, but showed signs of improvement

Aaron Rodgers on Brady ruling: ‘It’s a good day for the players’

Jim Harbaugh uses Seahawks play card and Seattle loves it

First drive of Jim Harbaugh Era in Michigan ends in interception

Redskins fan who named son after RG3: ‘I don’t regret it at all’

Freshmen to watch in Week 1 of college football

Early returns on Manny Machado, MLB shortstop

Judge Berman offered free coffee for life

Conor McGregor insults Jose Aldo, plans move to lightweight

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker