J.T. Realmuto has made a real big impact on the Phillies offense this season.
When the Phillies shipped their number one prospect Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and prospect Will Stewart, fans knew they were getting the best catcher in baseball, but few could have predicted the kind of impact he’d have on this team.
J.T. Realmuto enters the final weeks of the season on the verge of an all-time great season for Phillies catchers. This summer he became the 11th catcher in franchise history to be selected to an All-Star game, and his continues to heat up despite the weather cooling down.
As of Sep. 5’s game in Cincinnati, Realmuto has 135 hits, 33 doubles, 22 home runs, 75 RBI, and a .277 batting average.
Realmuto is two doubles away from tying Darren Daulton’s single-season catcher record of 35, and could be the third player since 2010 (Jayson Werth and Odubel Herrera) to hit 40 doubles in a season.
Spud Davis’s 1933 season with 173 hits is the best for a catcher in team history. Realmuto is 38 short of that record and 16 short of being one of four catchers with 150 hits.
Realmuto’s 75 RBI are tied for the 11th-most in team history, and while getting 34 more to match Darren Daulton’s franchise record of 109 is a stretch, Realmuto could be one of four catchers in franchise history with 90 (Daulton, Mike Lieberthal, Stan Lopata).
Unless he goes on a tear in the final three weeks of the season, Realmuto likely falls short of Ozzie Virgil’s single-season catcher record of 32 home runs in a season, but it’s not entirely out of reach.
Only three catchers in Phillies history (Benito Santiago, Lieberthal, and Virgil) have hit 30 home runs in a single season.
Among post-Deadball era players, Realmuto’s .493 slugging percentage is second to Lieberthal’s .551 from 1999.
Defensively, Realmuto’s season is also among the greatest in team history. While not turning a blind eye at Bill Killefer’s 130 runners caught stealing in 1913, let’s look at the modern era team record for runners thrown out.
Bob Boone’s 1973 record of 54 caught stealings is the best in franchise history since 1915. By throwing out his league-best 40th runner this year, Realmuto joined Boone, Clay Dalrymple (45, 50), Andy Seminick (43), and Daulton (49) as the only modern-era Phillies to throw out 40 runners in a season.
Realmuto’s season projects to be one of the greatest by a Phillies catcher, and if he continues to carry the team in September, it could go down as the greatest in franchise history. It’s more than what any fan could have hoped for in the deal, and hopefully, it’s just the beginning of a long-term relationship in Philadelphia.