Don’t Expect Much From Andrelton Simmons When He Returns

Andrelton Simmons is slated to return to the Braves within the first week or so of September, which should be a big boost for the team down the stretch run but likely will not be that big of a boost to your fantasy team during that same stretch. Simmons is an extremely talented player, but expecting him to perform for the final three weeks of the season as he did during his first 33 games in the majors is unwise.

While Simmons could certainly hit for a respectable average over a three week sample, it is unlikely that he will hit many home runs or steal many bases. With him likely hitting eighth in the lineup, the amount of plate appearances he will receive and run producing or scoring opportunities will be relatively limited as well. His 112 wRC+ backed by a .310 BABIP are very nice, but the three home runs he hit in 125 plate appearances match the three he hit in 200 plate appearances at double-A. Even worse, last year he hit just one total home run in 570 plate appearances. He may end up stealing a bag or two, but asking for any more than that over the final stretch of the year seems like you are asking for too much. After all, only Martin Prado, Michael Bourn, and Jason Heyward have more than two steals in Atlanta this year, so Fredi Gonzalez has played it pretty close to the chest when it comes to letting others attempt to steal a base.

In dynasty and keeper leagues, Simmons becomes at least a bit more interesting. He had a really hot start while he was not incredibly impressive in the minor leagues. That is rather similar to Martin Prado, who is a player I could certainly see him hitting like relative to their respective positions. Prado will likely hit for more power over the course of a year, but they both are high contact hitters that can establish high batting averages. Simmons essentially looks like the anti-Danny Espinosa, who I covered yesterday. As some commenters suggested, parring Espinosa with a player like Simmons who would help your batting average but not too much in terms of power or steals is a decent strategy for going cheap in the middle infield. With many roto leagues already decided for the most part, looking forward to the future and how your roster will be constructed is important. With Simmons owned in roughly 3% of Yahoo! leagues and having an unspectacular minor league record, grabbing him and stashing him as a dynasty league keeper could pay a lot of benefits in the future, if he is available.

For the final weeks of the year, don’t expect too much out of Simmons. His thumb injury could affect his bat and he could struggle to the same level he succeeded in his earlier major league stint, due to the volatility of what will likely be a three week sample. Look past him in yearly leagues, but grab him if you have room in dynasty leagues.

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Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.

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In a 12 team, 12 keeper league with $100 cap and have both Espinosa and Simmons for $2. Thinking about keeping both over the likes of a $7 M Montero, $7 Victorino and a $2 Carlos Gomez. Thoughts?