The Miami Marlins fanbase seemingly had very little to get excited about through the 2018 season.
From losing arguably the best starting outfield in the major leagues, to Wei-Yin Chen‘s road woes, to a 5-17 start to the season, to Lewis Brinson‘s underwhelming arrival in Marlins Park. The Miami Marlins were difficult to root for.
One notable exception was the production of J.T. Realmuto, who was today honored as the National League’s Silver Slugger Award winner at catcher.
Despite missing the first 16 games of the season due to injury, Realmuto ended up leading the Miami Marlins with 21 home runs and with 74 RBI. In 125 contests, J.T. slashed a .277/.340/.484 line, with 38 walks, 30 doubles, three triples, and three stolen bases.
For Realmuto’s efforts, he was the Marlins’ lone representative at the midseason classic, earning his first all-star nod. Amongst all qualified major league catchers, Realmuto’s .277 average, .484 slugging percentage, and .825 OPS ranked first. His .340 OBP was second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal.
Earlier this offseason, Realmuto was snubbed in the Gold Glove race, despite leading the world with an average 1.90 pop time. Although his .992 fielding percentage was mid-pack, his 38 percent kill-rate at throwing out baserunners led every NL backstop with as much time behind behind the plate as he had.
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Although this was Realmuto’s first postseason award, it will surprise some that his 2018 batting average was actually two points below his career average. Realmuto now has 59 homers and 243 RBI to his credit through his career.
Realmuto has been a pretty hot topic around these parts when it comes to trade talks. He’s also still under team-control for another two seasons. Derek Jeter, Michael Hill, Bruce Sherman and company would be wise to use these two years of control to build around Realmuto, with a possible long-term goal of convincing him to stay on afterward.
The Miami Marlins probably wont listen to me. Their other options are to trade him for a prospect heavy package (those two years of control are almost priceless) or to convince him to sign for an extension before his two years are up. Everything I’ve been hearing is that they’re set to part ways with him, but mark my words, this is the first of many postseason awards for the strong-armed strong-gloved native of Del City, Oklahoma. Keeping him on is my preferred choice.
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