Catcher J.T. Realmuto has been snubbed of Gold Glove Award consideration following his second season with the Phillies
Now-free agent Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto may be informally known as the “best catcher in baseball,” but the perennial All-Star was snubbed from one of the most prestigious recognitions for those who play his position — the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.
On Thursday, Rawlings announced the 2020 finalists for the annual honor that represents overall fielding excellence. Former Phillies Cesar Hernandez (Cleveland Indians) and J.P. Crawford (Seattle Mariners) were named American League finalists at the second base and shortstop positions, respectively.
Realmuto, however, was not named a finalist for the National League catcher position — surpassed by Tucker Barnhart (Cincinnati Reds), Willson Contreras (Chicago Cubs), and Jacob Stallings (Pittsburgh Pirates).
2020 Catching Statistics
- Tucker Barnhart: 36 games, 33 games started, 28 complete games, 272 1/3 innings fielded, 356 chances, 341 putouts, 15 assists, 0 errors, 0 double plays turned, 1.000 fielding percentage
- Willson Contreras: 41 games, 39 games started, 34 complete games, 324 1/3 innings fielded, 326 chances, 311 putouts, 13 assists, 2 errors, 0 double plays turned, .994 fielding percentage
- Jacob Stallings: 42 games, 40 games started, 36 complete games, 345 1/3 innings fielded, 405 chances, 379 putouts, 22 assists, 4 errors, 2 double plays turned, .990 fielding percentage
- J.T. Realmuto: 36 games, 35 games started, 29 complete games, 291 innings fielded, 306 chances, 296 putouts, 8 assists, 2 errors, 3 double plays turned, .993 fielding percentage
Comparing Realmuto’s 2020 season to those of Barnhart, Contreras, and Stallings, the two-time All-Star came close catching statistics-wise to all three; in particular, he bested all three in double plays turned (3).
Realmuto earned his first career Gold Glove honors following the 2019 — his first of two with the Phillies — after he recorded a .992 fielding percentage and posted a National League-best 46.7 caught stealing percentage among catchers.
Due to the shortened season, the 2020 Gold Glove Award qualifications were amended to rely just on the SABR Defensive Index (SDI). Qualified pitchers must have had at least 50 innings pitched, catchers at least 29 games played, and infielders/outfielders at least 265 defensive innings played. Each player qualifies at the position he has played at the most.
Finalists are determined following a vote among managers and the coaching staff of each Major League team. Voters can only select players within their own league, but not those on their team. For example, Joe Girardi could vote for the Reds’ Barnhart to be a National League catching finalist, but cannot vote for Realmuto.
The award is said to take into account more than just fielding metrics and statistics; it does not factor in offensive production.
No Phillie overall was named a 2020 Gold Glove Award finalist, including right fielder Bryce Harper. After a disappointing finish to the season, not even a Gold Glove Award consolation prize will be had for the Girardi-led team.