As hard as it is to believe, J.T. Realmuto is only 24 years of age. The Del City Oklahoma native has been on a tear this season since making the trip from New Orleans. Realmuto is often admired for his leadership skills, something seldom said about 24 year-old players in the bigs. It's easy to say he is one of the games brightest young stars with plenty of future ahead of him and the Marlins have only shown more faith in him since his promotion.
Realmuto's story is a curious one. The Marlins were one of the the organizations who saw Realmuto, who was at the time a shortstop, as a future catcher. One of the very few games that Realmuto was behind the plate was attended by a Marlins scout. Some other clubs were ready to take Realmuto as a shortstop prospect until the Marlins selected him with their 3rd round pick. The rest is history throughout his ascension through the Marlins' minor league system and his eventual gig as the Marlins starting catcher.
The last 11 games have been a dream for J.T. Realmuto as he has gone on an extreme hot streak hitting .341 over that stretch, raising his overall batting average to .238, up from the .203 he was batting prior to the streak. Realmuto has also emerged as a force on defense, making great plays behind the plate and has all the makings of a solid overall catcher, offensively and defensively.
No greater confirmation of Realmuto's place on the roster than when the Fish parted ways with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a tenured veteran who had just signed a four-year deal. This move indicated tremendous faith in Realmuto and his abilities to be the Marlins' everyday starting catcher.
Realmuto's emergence also drastically altered the Marlins draft strategy, as the club chose to wait until the sixth round to grab a catcher. In the sixth round, the Marlins opted to go with catcher Justin Cohen from Riverview High School. Instead of reaching up for a dynamic catcher, the Marlins opted to get a solid mid-round prospect as opposed to go up to get a high priced, highly touted catcher. This demonstrates the faith that the Marlins have in Realmuto to be the catcher of the future instead of reaching for a high grade catcher.
At the young age of 24, Realmuto has room for improvement and development in his first full season in the majors. With plenty of time left in a career that has just gotten underway, it's evident to say, Realmuto will have continued success in the future. The Marlins have found their man behind the plate and he intends to stay there.