No. 5: J.T. Realmuto, 1.5 fWAR
J.T. Realmuto's value can't be overstated. Now 32 years old, Realmuto continues to be a workhorse behind the plate for the Phillies.
In his fifth year in red pinstripes, Realmuto didn't have the same impact this season as in previous years, finishing with 1.5 WAR. Last season, he amassed 6.5 WAR, and in 2021 he registered 4.6 WAR.
But when Rob Thomson knows he can pencil Realmuto in behind the plate so frequently, it makes his job much easier. Not to mention the pitching staff's comfort level in throwing to him.
Realmuto played in 135 games this season and had 540 plate appearances, ranking him seventh behind some of the top catchers in baseball. Most impressively, he appeared in 130 games as the backstop, not as the designated hitter, like many top-end catchers play a good chuck of their games. His 535 plate appearances as a catcher were far and away the most in the majors this season.
The 10-year veteran didn't have the same stellar offensive season as years past, hitting .252 — his lowest mark since his brief debut in 2014. But he still contributed 20 home runs, 63 RBI, and 70 runs scored.
Behind the dish, he caught the most innings (1,142) and finished with a .998 fielding percentage. He had the fastest pop time of 1.83 seconds and excelled in blocking, with the fourth-best BAA (blocks above average) at 12. But he came up short in other advanced defensive metrics like DRS (defensive runs saved) with -4 and framing runs with -14.
His WAR took a hit on the bases this season. He finished with a -1.5 BsR (base running runs above average), a steep decline from last year's 6.6 BsR. Despite not having the same skills on the basepaths, he still finished with 16 stolen bases. That number is easily the most among catchers — no other backstop had double-digit steals.