No. 4: J.T. Realmuto
When the Phillies first acquired J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins during the 2018-19 offseason, he gave the ballclub its first legitimate star catcher since Carlos Ruiz. With the combination of solid offense and defense, along with effective game calling, Realmuto became a key contributor for the Phillies squad right from the get-go.
After two strong seasons with the ballclub that saw him capture a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award, along with becoming an All-Star in 2019, Realmuto was re-signed by the Phillies during the 2020-21 offseason to a record-breaking five-year, $115.5 million deal. That amount represented the highest AAV given to a catcher in the history of MLB. For a backstop who was considered to be one of the best all-around catchers in the game, the Phillies believed he was worth the price.
Now three years into his current contract, Realmuto has more or less maintained his career numbers with regards to offensive production each season. However, there was quite a decline in his defensive game over the past season. He went from a Gold Glove season in 2022, where he posted an 11 DRS and threw out 44 percent of base stealers, to a mediocre season in 2023, where he had a -4 DRS along with a whopping 81 bases stolen off of him for a 78 percent runner success rate.
The Phillies will need Realmuto to regain his elite defensive form once again in the coming seasons before the opposition literally “runs” them into the ground and eventually steals victories away from the ballclub. Otherwise, Realmuto has come as advertised so far in his tenure with the Phillies.