JT Realmuto has come out of the gates hot in 2020.
While he doesn’t provide the sizzle that some star catchers in the MLB have, Philadelphia Phillies backstop JT Realmuto might be able to claim he’s the best at his position in the league given his ability to rake at the plate and gun runners out behind it.
Realmuto, whom the Phillies acquired from the rival Miami Marlins in exchange for a package headlined by top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, has followed up a 2019 season in which he set new career-highs in home runs (25) and RBIs (83) by hitting eight home runs in his first 15 games. He became the first catcher to do that in 95 years.
Between him and Bryce Harper, who is hitting .346 with four home runs, the Phillies have enough star power to theoretically contend.
JT Realmuto is dominating ahead of his free agency in 2021.
The Phillies have done little to help out Harper and Realmuto, as they currently sit in last place in the NL East despite these two stars. A shambolic bullpen and inconsistent bottom-half of the lineup that was just swept by the Baltimore Orioles have the Phillies looking throughout their farm system for any sort of spark. That spark better manifest soon, as the Phillies risk sliding out of contention and potentially letting the red-hot Realmuto walk in free agency.
Buster Posey’s eight-year, $159 million contract is the richest ever given to a catcher, while Yadier Molina’s three-year, $60 million deal is the highest in terms of average annual value. If Realmuto keeps raking like this, his next deal might top both of those records.
By virtue of taking part in a season that’s only 60 games long, the Phillies won’t truly be “out” of the playoff hunt until they are mathematically eliminated. There is still plenty of time to make a late surge, and the 1-2 punch of Harper and Realmuto are the most likely candidates to wake up the rest of a dormant Phillies team.