BOSTON -- Approximately 18 years after being introduced while growing up in Curacao, shortstop Andrelton Simmons and right-hander Jair Jurrjens finally were on the baseball field together competing for the same team.
When the 26-year-old Jurrjens returned from the Minors to make Friday night's start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the 18-year-old Simmons was thrilled to have the opportunity to play the shortstop position behind the guy that he first knew as "a solid third baseman" from his older brother's youth baseball teams.
"We played for the same organization growing up, but he was a few years older, so I never got to play in the same game as him," Simmons said. "The only time we were on the same field was in practice."
Simmons and Jurrjens were reacquainted when the young shortstop experienced his first Major League Spring Training this year, but they did not play in any exhibition games together and Jurrjens was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett approximately five weeks before Simmons made the leap from Double-A Mississippi to the Majors at the start of this month.
Simmons believes he was 4 years old when he watched his older brother Andley and Jurrjens playing together. At that time, Curacao's top product -- Andruw Jones -- was making his way through the Braves' Minor League system and establishing himself as the game's top prospect.