The Realmuto family will likely need a new shelf for the hardware that J.T. Realmuto is picking up this offseason. After winning his first Gold Glove Award, he has added a Silver Slugger Award – his second – as the best offensive catcher in the National League. The awards signify what most Phillies fans already believed; Realmuto is the beat all-around catcher in the game.
In his first season in Philadelphia, Realmuto hit 25-83-.275/.328/.493 in 145 games. He set career-high marks in games (145), runs (92), doubles (36), home runs (25), RBI (83) and slugging percentage (.493). Realmuto also captured the honor last season while with the Miami Marlins. He has also been a National League All-Star in each of the past two seasons.
The Phillies acquired Realmuto from the Marlins this past February for minor league pitchers Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart and catcher Jorge Alfaro. Sanchez was ranked as the top Phillies pitching prospect at the time of the trade. The last Phillie to win a Silver Slugger Award was Chase Utley in 2009, the last of his four straight honors as the league’s top hitting second baseman. Ryan Howard (2006), Bobby Abreu (2004) and Scott Rolen (2002) are the other Phillies to win the award in the past 20 years.
Manager Joe Girardi has said that he plans on reducing Realmuto’s workload in 2020 to reduce wear and tear on him. Realmuto missed the final week of the season with a knee injury that required minor surgery to “clean up” the meniscus in his right knee. The surgery was performed and went well and it’s expected that Realmuto will be ready to play in spring training.