"I think [Simmons] is the best defensive player in the history of the game," Braves general manager John Coppolella said. "I think he's somebody who brings so much value. When you've got young pitching behind him, outs are outs and hits are outs."
Many Braves fans were not happy on Tuesday night, when Simmons was not named the National League's Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop for a third consecutive season. That honor went to Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.
But there wasn't any reason to bicker on Wednesday night, when Wilson gave Simmons its top honor.
Wilson determined its Defensive Player of the Year Award winners with a formula that includes traditional defensive stats, advanced metrics and information gathered by Inside Edge.
Simmons led all NL shortstops this past year in Defensive Runs Saved (25), Ultimate Zone Rating (17.3) and FanGraphs' Defensive Runs Above Average (23.9), which accounts for fielding runs and positional adjustment. Since the start of the 2013 season, Simmons has been awarded a Major League-best 94 DRS. Heyward ranks second with 69. Cincinnati's Zack Cozart and Crawford are tied for second among NL shortstops during that span with 30.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.