J.T. Realmuto turning things around against his old team
J.T. Realmuto has made a significant impact defensively for the Phillies so far this season. His 0.4 defensive wins above replacement are most the on the club and seventh-most in the National League. He also has the most catcher assists and fifth-best caught stealing rate among NL catchers.
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Realmuto has done an incredible job as a pitch framer, generating 0.6 framing runs (tied for the most) according to Baseball Prospectus. Realmuto is easily the best catcher in the league by BP’s catching fielding runs above average metric: he is already at a full run above average while the next-best catcher (Buster Posey) is at 0.6.
While Realmuto has been a defensive stalwart so far, his offense has lagged behindIn fact, based.
In 45 plate appearances this season, he has a .237/.333/.342 line, 82 wRC+, and 0.0 offensive wins above replacement.
Realmuto’s main issue this year has been a spike in the number of ground balls he is hitting. In 2018, he had a 39.8% ground-ball rate; this year he has a 51.5% ground ball rate. This increase in ground balls has decreased his batting average on balls in play to .250, well below his average from the last two seasons.
It’s unlikely Realmuto’s offensive numbers remain this low. Based on his launch angle and exit velocity, his numbers should be much better. Realmuto currently has a .342 slugging percentage and .302 weighted on-base average but an expected slugging percentage of .400 and expected weighted on-base average of .340.
Sooner or later, Realmuto should turn things around at the plate. Can that come this weekend against his former team?