2017 stats: 579 PA, 532 AB, .278 AVG, .332 OBP, 17 HR, 65 RBI, 3.6 WAR (Baseball Reference)
J.T. Realmuto went into 2017 one of the better catchers in the league and only continued to prove his excellence and overall ability. The twenty-six year old started off the season hot batting .342 over the first 20 games. He struck out only seven times in eighty-one plate appearances in that time. May would be the come-down month for Realmuto, batting a mere .253 average.
While his hot streaks and cold streaks would even out over the year his top rank speed among catchers and stellar defense/arm would continue all year. Realmuto’s durability and ability to play the field came into use towards the start of August when Justin Bour was out on the disabled list. Bour would be out until early September and in that time Realmuto played eight games at first base. The glove was there and he continued to show how important he can be to any team’s lineup.
One of the major differences between Realmuto and the rest of the catchers in the league is his speed and he showed that off by stealing eight bases (only caught twice) the second most of any catcher this past season. J.T. also had an amazing moment against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Philly announcer had just done some trivia asking who was the last Miami Marlin to to hit an inside the park home run (it was J.T. of course) Realmuto decided it was time to end the drought and he hit a two-run inside the park home run.
One interesting side note is Realmuto fared much better away this past season than home (Fantasy baseballers be aware).
Realmuto continues to be a defensive highlight with his arm and decision making. While he may have lost his arbitration hearing (a decision that I disagree with) he still continues to be one of the best catchers out there. Realmuto should bring in a good haul of players if traded but if he does not end up getting moved by the Marlins (Jeter) he will be a great asset to help the younger players grow this upcoming season.