With the offseason rapidly approaching, the biggest free-agents will become the talk of the baseball world, and on that list is sitting a significant upgrade at Catcher: J.T. Realmuto and the Washington Nationals shouldn’t miss out.
J.T. Realmuto was selected in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Florida Marlins, now the Miami Marlins. He made his MLB debut in 2014, and in a short time, he made an impact. He played five seasons with the Marlins until February 7, 2019.
For the 2014 season with the Marlins, J.T. batted .241 with 9 RBI’s in 29 at-bats.
According to Baseball Reference.com, in his five years with the Marlins, he totaled:
- 243 RBI’s and 59 H.R.s;
- .279 Batting Average and .768 OPS;
- Played in 540 games and had 2,152 at-bats.
In 2018, J.T. Realmuto was selected to his first MLB All-Star Game and played in the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series. In 2018, Realmuto batted .277 with 21 Home Runs, 74 RBI’s, and had three stolen bases.
The Marlins traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Jorge Alfaro, Sixto Sánchez, Will Stewart, and $250,000 in international bonus slot money.
In 2019, Realmuto was selected to his second All-Star Game and finished the season with winning his second career Silver Slugger award and his first Gold Glove Award. In a Phillies uniform in 2019, Realmuto batted .275 in 538 at-bats and had a career-high 92 runs, 36 doubles (which is the most ever by a Phillies catcher), 25 home runs, and a total of 83 RBI’s.
Defense is Key
And that’s just his offense; let’s take a look at his defense, which is also very impressive.
In 2019, with the Phillies, he threw out a Major League-high 47% of all attempted base stealers. Realmuto also had the fastest pop time in the major’s of all the catchers and had the second-strongest arm strength, and in total, he had an NL leading 11 Defensive Runs saved and led all major league catchers in double plays with 14 total.
When it comes to framing a pitch J.T. Realmuto would be a perfect addition. Currently, both Washington Nationals catchers Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki aren’t great at framing pitches, so it would be amazing to see Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin get that extra advantage over a batter at the plate.
Over the last three seasons, J.T. Realmuto has a 15.4 FRM, which is one of the better marks in baseball in that period. His exceptional framing and good defense help save runs and strikes, as he had a 19.5 FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average) and 8 Runs Extra Strikes in 2019. Those three metrics add up to Realmuto helping pitchers give up fewer runs and stealing strikes that otherwise would put pitchers in worse counts.