Phillies 2021 Spring Training Preview: Position Players

BreakingT /
10 of 10
J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

J.T. Realmuto

Let’s talk about one of the prized possessions and the new highest-paid catcher in baseball, J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto was recently named the highest-paid catcher in baseball, signing a five-year $115.5 million extension.

What he brings is a little bit of everything, on offense he has a casual 11 home runs, 123 OPS+, and a 125 wRC+, you know nothing special.

While pop-time wasn’t tracked yet on Baseball Savant for 2020, in 2019 he had the fastest pop time in baseball going to second or third. When it comes to framing he was ranked in the 95th percentile.

J.T. does a lot and is really good at basically all of it, which is never a bad thing to complain about.

The one potential question could be his workload over time but to that, we can say about how good of an athlete Realmuto is so it will be easier for his game to age into his 30s than some other catchers in baseball.

There isn’t a lot to talk about, we all know what he is going to be in 2021 and that’s being the best overall catcher in the sport and should help us out in almost every game we win one way or another.

Andrew Knapp

Backup catcher Andrew Knapp is now up in the order, and there is some reason that he could be an exciting player off the bench this upcoming season.

Knapp, in only 89 plate appearances, made the most of them in 2020 with a 129 OPS+ and a 133 wRC+. Now, these numbers are so much better than what he’s done his entire career so the odds he figured out something to create a “controversy” are slim.

With that said, we should expect a solid standard backup catcher, not a great hitter at the plate, but someone who will make the most of every game he is behind the dish, and someone who won’t kill you defensively.

The one concerning thing about what was just laid out is he was not good at framing in 2020, ranking in just the 11th percentile, and outside of 2019 has never been a great framer so don’t expect too much lying to umpires in 2021 when he’s out there.

Overall he’s a good backup catcher to have, if we need him for a couple of games and nothing long-term, he is perfect.

Rafael Marchan

Developmental catcher Rafael Marchan is who we will wrap up the preview with. Going into the 2021 season, Marchan has a long way to go.

The brief scouting report on Marchan is that he’s a good defensive catcher with not a great bat. On Fangraphs, his scouting grades are 35/60 for hitting, 20/30 for game power, 40/45 for raw power, 45/40 for speed, 50/70 fielding, and finally 55/55 arm.

When it comes to his bat, it hasn’t been amazing in the minors as in A+ ball he had just a 73 wRC+ in 22 games and was slightly above average in A-ball.

One great storyline in 2020 was he hit his first-ever professional home-run as a Philadelphia Phillie so maybe he is someone born for the bright lights?

Could be a possibility but in all seriousness, we should expect Marchan in Double-A to start next season. Hopefully, he gets some time in Triple-A to end the season which would be some good news for the developing catcher.

light. More. Phillies fans’ return marks ‘light at the end of the tunnel’