James makes his Atlantic League debut during his seventh season of professional baseball. Before coming to Bridgeport, he began the 2012 campaign with Independent Washington of the Frontier League, appearing in five games. Last year, the 26-year-old split time between Triple-A Fresno and Single-A San Jose of the San Francisco Giants organization. In 76 combined games, he batted .259 with 13 home runs, 36 runs scored and 33 RBI.
The Texas-native was originally drafted by San Francisco in the 24th round of the 2005 amateur draft. He has reached as high as the Triple-A level last year and his best professional season came in 2010 with Single-A San Jose of the California League. Simmons batted .252 with 12 home runs and 19 stolen bases and posted career-highs with 80 hits, 56 runs scored, and 47 RBI. In 516 career games, he own a .239 batting average with 39 home runs, 255 runs scored, 194 RBI, and 81 stolen bases.