Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto a strong Gold Glove contender
After taking home the Silver Slugger award last year, Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto may be in line for the Gold Glove award this season.
When the Phillies traded for J.T. Realmuto during the offseason, there was reason to believe his offense would improve significantly even after winning a Silver Slugger award by leaving Miami’s ballpark. However, a slow start to the season has kept him from breaking out this year.
While Realmuto’s offensive performance isn’t what we were hoping to see from him, his defense this year has more than made up for it. He may not take home a silver award, but he may instead get one of the golden variety.
Heading into Monday’s game, no catcher has done a better job of catching base stealers than Realmuto. He has caught 36 runners stealing this season with a success rate of 46%, both of which are best in the league. Realmuto also ranks second among NL catchers with 58 assists.
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Realmuto’s Statcast measurements back up his imposing presence behind the plate. He has the best pop time to both second and third base and fourth-best arm velocity of any catcher. It’s safe to say that Realmuto keeps the basepaths under lock and key while he’s playing.
Advanced metrics also back up Realmuto as a Gold Glove contender. Among NL catchers, only Austin Hedges and Buster Posey rank better in defensive runs saved.
Further, Realmuto ranks fourth in fielding runs above average.
Pitch framing is where Realmuto’s argument for the Gold Glove starts to fall apart. He ranks ninth in framing runs behind other possible contenders like Posey, Hedges, and Yasmani Grandal. With pitch-framing rising in importance around the league, not ranking in the top tier could hurt Realmuto.
As things stand now, Realmuto has as good of a chance of anyone at winning the Gold Glove. His pitch-framing numbers keep him from being a clear-cut favorite, but he has the best chance of any Phillie of taking home some hardware this season.