Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the biggest fan of the placement of the World Baseball Classic. While I think that the WBC can have a negative effect on the teams whose players take part, I also understand that there can be positive effects. For the Atlanta Braves, there could be a very good reason for them to pay attention to the WBC. Their young starting shortstop Andrelton Simmons is playing for the Netherlands Kingdom.
It’s not that they need to see Simmons in a real game atmosphere. They already know he can perform well in a major league game. What is up in the air going into the season however is how well he will play in the lead-off spot in the batting order? Guess where Team Netherlands has Simmons? You guessed it; the lead-off spot. I have no direct line to the manager of the ball-club so I’m not certain he will play their every game. When he is there however, the Braves will surely be watching and paying attention.
So, with four games under his belt from the top of the batting order, how has he performed? He was officially two for four with two runs scored and one driven in against Cuba. Overall he has a .353 average, .421 on-base percentage and a .523 slugging percentage. I’d say for Simmons it’s so far, so good from the top of the order. The team will surely face tough challengers as they go forward in the tournament but as long as Simmons is getting lead-off spot experience it’s all a good thing for the Braves.