Former Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto was one of the greatest to wear a uniform in team history.
I would love to see what former Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto could do with all these young arms in the rotation. Now that he is in Philadelphia after a trade last offseason brought back Sixto Sanchez, Jorge Alfaro and Will Stewart, the Marlins will learn just how much or how little they need his services behind the plate and with his bat.
As Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com wrote in one of their most recent stories, Realmuto is the most celebrated catching prospect for the Marlins organization of this century. His impact on a younger team may have helped move the needle slightly last season as the team was still going through its transition of development and rebuilding for the future.
"“Two years after blowing the No. 6 overall pick on Kyle Skipworth, the Marlins scored big with another prep catcher in the third round of the 2010 Draft,” they wrote.More from Marlins NewsMiami Marlins are pursuing Michael ConfortoMiami Marlins need to spend to winMiami Marlins can’t afford to botch this tradeMiami Marlins news: the New York Mets are a risky threatMiami Marlins keep missing out on stars“More of a shortstop in high school, Realmuto set national high school records with 88 hits and 119 RBIs as a senior and also quarterbacked Carl Albert High (Midwest City) to the Oklahoma state 5-A football title. His athleticism eased his transition behind the plate and he’s now regarded as the game’s best catcher.”"
Realmuto’s departure from Miami was necessary to move forward. He was not happy with the front office when Derek Jeter and Michael Hill pulled the plug on the roster’s talent from 2017 and made significant changes to the franchise. Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich were all jettisoned for minor league prospects and prayers this team could keep its head above water.
Right now, despite the changes to the roster and the growth of the farm system, the Marlins are barely keeping themselves relevant in the deep end of baseball.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote a story where he conducted a poll of the greatest catchers in Marlins history. Realmuto won the debate as expected.
"“Realmuto broke into the big leagues in 2014, and a year later, he became the regular behind the plate. In ’16, he batted .303 in 137 games and is the only everyday catcher to top .300 batting average in a season with Miami,” Frisaro wrote.“In ’18, his final season with the Marlins, Realmuto belted 21 home runs, a single-season franchise record for a catcher.”"
Now, the team will work with Alfaro who had a decent season as a receiver for the Marlins with 18 home runs and 57 RBI while batting .262 for the season. There are some concerns about injuries as Alfaro took his fair share of knocks behind the dish last season. The front office and coaching staff would also like to see more consistency at the plate.
Alfaro did a solid job last season working with the young pitching staff and should be able to build on that chemistry again this season. As important as it is for Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith, and the other potential rotation members to work on their consistency, having someone staring at them who can call a solid game helps the cause.
Realmuto may be the best catcher in Marlins history to date, but that does not mean he will remain there if the team continues to grow through the minors. Will Banfield, Miami’s No. 25 ranked prospect, is still in Single-A baseball with plenty of time to develop into one of the best, if not the best receiver the organization has ever had.