When the Atlanta Braves shipped premiere shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2016 campaign, they knew what they were losing at the position: a perennial Gold Glove candidate and a slightly below-average bat.
Two years later, the latter has transformed into an All-Star-caliber weapon that produces an OPS just below .800, but it's still the glove of Simmons that catches everyone's attention.
This time, however, the 27-year-old defensive wizard opted to forgo the old leather to save crucial time should there be a relay throw to make. Watch Simmons catch a long toss from Angels' outfielder Cameron Maybin with his bare hand:
Andrelton Simmons has me shook pic.twitter.com/Yn3THUdn35— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) August 22, 2017
Now he's just showing off.
While the barehanded snag went to the wayside, this is just another (albeit small) example of why Simmons is far and away the best defensive shortstop in the game. Remember, this is a guy who posted a 3.5 WAR during the same season he logged a paltry .286 on-base percentage.
Now that Simmons has found himself in the batter's box, he's turning out to be one of the game's most electric players.
Showboat plays such as the barehanded relay that Simmons boasted on Monday night only add to his lore.