Finally, J.T. Realmuto has been traded. After months of rumors, the Phillies acquired Realmuto from the Marlins for catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, pitcher Will Stewart and international bonus pool money.
Realmuto, 27, is signed through 2020 and could sign a contract extension with the Phillies. The change in ballpark is a huge upgrade for Realmuto, who goes from the worst parks for right-handed power to one of the best.
For his career, J.T. Realmuto has an OPS of .676 at home and .852 on the road. Last season he had eight home runs with a .773 OPS at home and 13 home runs with an .870 OPS on the road. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia was fourth in home runs and 12th in runs last season, according to ESPN Ballpark Factors. Marlins Park was last in home runs and next to last in runs.
Realmuto is currently the second catcher off the board, according to the fantrax.com ADP. He has an ADP of 73.43, while Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez goes 62.03.
Realmuto started last year missing time with an injury and played in 125 games. He had a slash line of .277/.340/.484 with 74 runs, 21 home runs, 74 RBIs and three stolen bases. Last season was the first year Realmuto didn’t reach at least eight stolen bases.
The stats from last season don’t seem impressive, but he played in an awful offense with little support and in a pitcher-friendly park. Realmuto is in a much better situation with Philadelphia, and it could still add a potent bat like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.
Realmuto hit third and fourth most of the season last year, and that could change with the Phillies. Depending on where he bats in the order, he could see fewer plate appearances if he hits sixth or lower. Even if that happens, he’s in a much better lineup, and the counting stats will be better.
Realmuto is already one of the most expensive catchers in drafts, and he will likely rise more. While the move to Philadelphia helps, I don’t like to spend a fourth or fifth round pick on a catcher. It rarely works out.
Alfaro was more intriguing with the Phillies. He will play every day, but moves to a bad situation. He goes from one of the best parks for right-handed hitters to one of the worst and will likely hit in the bottom part of a lousy offense.
Alfaro had a slash line of .262/.324/.407 with 35 runs, 10 home runs, 37 RBIs, three stolen bases and a .731 OPS. The average was boosted by a .406 BABIP and a career BABIP of .406 in 467 at-bats. Alfaro has a career 35.2 percent strikeout rate and a 4.3 percent walk rate. When Alfaro does make contact, he hits it hard with a 37.7 percent hard-hit rate last season.
Sanchez is 20 years old and only pitched in 46.2 innings due to injuries, and with his 6-foot, 185-pound frame staying healthy is one of the long term concerns, but Sanchez has a great arm. He throws in the high-90s and has good command. In 221.1 career minor league innings, Sanchez has a 2.48 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a 191:43 K:BB ratio.
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