|THROUGH THE YEARS IN BASEBALL AMERICA|
|• Aaron Fitt wrote a feature story on Simmons' rise to dominance at UC Riverside .|
• Simmons ranked seventh in a talented class of California prospects .
• Simmons had a strong outing against Cal State Fullerton in April in a showdown vs. Wes Roemer.
• In our midseason update, Simmons ranked No. 20 on our list of the Top 50 College Prospects .
• One National League scouting director called Simmons one of the best pitchers on the West Coast.
• Simmons struck out 15 in a four-hit, complete-game shutout against San Francisco ace Aaron Poreda.
• On our Top 50 College Junior Prospects board , Simmons ranked No. 19 on the list.
• Simmons was a preseason third-team All-America pitcher and ranked second among Big West prospects .
|• In our sneak peak at the 2007 draft , Simmons ranked No. 37 on our list.|
• After pitching in the Cape Cod League, Simmons was the eighth-best prospect from that league .
|• We ranked Simmons as the No. 96 prospect in Southern California during his senior year at Norco High School.|
|Simmons was a high school teammate of San Diego's Josh Romanski, a sophomore lefty and the Toreros' No. 2 starter. Simmons has been UC Riverside's ace since his freshman season in 2005, when he won at Oregon State but was academically ineligible at midseason. He followed a good sophomore season by dominating the Cape Cod League last summer, posting a 1.18 ERA. Simmons has worn the label of ace even more comfortably as a junior, winning a much-hyped duel with Cal State Fullerton rival Wes Roemer in late April, when he pumped up his fastball to 93 mph. Usually, Simmons sits at 89-90 mph, but he commands the fastball better than anyone else in college baseball in 2007. Scouts give him 60 or even 70 grades (on the 20-80 scale) for his command. He pitches off the fastball, both a sinking two-seamer and firmer four-seamer, and works all quadrants of the strike zone. Some scouts don't like his secondary pitches as anything but fringe-average, but his slider and particularly his changeup find some takers. His slow curveball needs significant improvement. His toughness and above-average makeup endear him to all scouts. Simmons will go as high in the draft--and as far as a pro--as his fastball command takes him.|