Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto Earns Gold Glove, Silver Slugger

J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has earned Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards after just his first season with the team.

It is difficult to have expected more out of catcher J.T. Realmuto in his first season with the Philadelphia Phillies.

In 145 games, the Del City, Oklahoma, native slashed .275/.328/.493 and set career highs in plate appearances (593), at-bats (538), runs scored (92), doubles (36), home runs (25), RBI (83), walks (41), and total bases (265).

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Behind the plate, Realmuto was just as good. According to Baseball-Reference, the six-year veteran posted a National League best 14 double plays turned, most caught stealings (43) and best caught stealing percentage (46.7), second-best 18 total zone runs, ninth-best 1.7 defensive WAR. Additionally, his 17 total zone runs as catcher was a league-best mark.

Fittingly and deservingly, Realmuto, 28, was recently recognized as a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards recipient for the National League catcher position.

This is Realmuto’s first career Gold Glove honor, while being his second Silver Slugger, having won the award after his final season with the Miami Marlins in 2018 when he slugged 30 doubles, 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 125 games.

In earning Silver Slugger honors, Realmuto is the first Phillies player to do so since second baseman Chase Utley in 2009, according to The Inquirer’s Scott Lauber, who adds the only other Phillies catcher to win was Darren Daulton in 1992.

For Gold Glove, Realmuto is the first Phillies Gold Glove Award winner since Jimmy Rollins in 2012, and the first catcher on the team, in particular, since Mike Lieberthal in 1999.

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Also, Realmuto is just the 10th catcher in Major League Baseball history to win the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in the same season, joining Gary Carter, Russell Martin, Joe Mauer, Yadier Molina, Lance Parrish, Salvador Perez, Ivan Rodriguez, Benito Santiago, and Jason Varitek.

There should be little doubt as to whether Realmuto is the catcher of the future for the Phillies. He is set to enter arbitration this offseason, but both sides could avoid that entirely with a contract extension — of which he surely deserves.