Five surprise players for the Miami Marlins in 2017

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MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 1: The batting order for the Miami Marlins in their game against the Atlanta Braves is shown in center field with Giancarlo Stanton
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 1: The batting order for the Miami Marlins in their game against the Atlanta Braves is shown in center field with Giancarlo Stanton /
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No. 3: J.T. Realmuto – 3.6 WAR

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 10: J. T. Realmuto
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 10: J. T. Realmuto /

If the Miami Marlins are going to build around any member of their core, it should be J.T. Realmuto. The Marlins had high hopes for him when they drafted him third overall in 2010, but there is no way they thought he’d be this good.

Realmuto has only logged two years of Major League Baseball service time. With plenty of team control and room to grow ahead of him, the future is bright. Realmuto has improved every season in the big leagues, but this year amounted to a quantum leap.

The Oklahoma City high school legend produced 1.8 WAA for the Marlins this season, good for nearly a full win over his 2016 season. He posted improvements in his walk rate, K rate, and lowered his caught stealing percentage.

How many catchers do you know are legging out five triples and an inside-the-park-home run?

Realmuto has rightfully earned the title of “most athletic catcher in baseball”. His defense prowess is on full display on every dribble in front of the plate. Few can field, spin, and fire the ball he can.

With versatility that is through the roof, the Marlins have a commodity unlike any other in Realmuto. He’ll be a Miami Marlin for the long haul.

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