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JT Realmuto: MVP Canidate?

If you were to be asked who the MVP of the 2024 Phillies so far is, you have a long list of choices and a ton of deserving candidates. You can say Bryce Harper because he is MV3. There is Alec Bohm who has been red hot as of late. Then look at the Phillies pitching. Both Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suarez have been untouchable when they pitch. Or how about Spencer Turnbull who has surprised everyone.

As you continue to name guys on the Phillies, you may have forgotten about the best catcher in baseball (BCIB) and my team MVP, JT Realmuto. I have been a fan of his since he joined the club in 2019. He has played at an elite level since he joined the team, but there is something different about him this season.

Now his hitting is not elite. He is having one of his better hitting seasons since joining the Phillies. He is on pace to have his best hitting season with the Phillies. He is on pace to have more home runs, RBI's, and hits since joining the Phillies. With as hot as the Phillies lineup has been, he has been performing very well this season. When you compare his hitting stats to other catchers, he may not be top 3 or 5, but he is consistently top 10 or 15 in every major hitting category for catchers.

What he brings to the team behind the plate is unmatched to anyone else in the field for the Phillies. He continues to be one of the best catchers in baseball. He is currently top 5 in fielding percentage, range factor, assists, and put outs amongst qualified players.

The part that makes JT my team MVP so far is what he has done for the Phillies pitching. There is no question that the Phillies pitching has been special this season. Currently the Phillies pitching lead MLB in strikeouts, complete games, and wins. It is also special when 3 starters (Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Ranger Suarez) are all top 3 in Cy Young Power Rankings.

JT has helped elevate not only the starting rotation but has also helped elevate this bullpen. The catcher's role is so important for the pitcher's success. He has not just elevated one or two guys this season, but rather the entire rotation and bullpen.

A catcher needs to have a solid relationship with each pitcher in order to have success. Is there a pitcher he does not have success with? He took a no hitter into the 7th inning with Spencer Turnbull and then the next night took a no-hitter with Zack Wheeler into the 8th inning.

A catcher has 3 main responsibilities and JT is doing them at an elite level. He needs to catch the pitches, which he does flawlessly. He needs to call the game, and by looking at how good the pitching has done from the rotation to the pen, he is doing amazing there too. Finally, he needs to be the QB for the infield and be the leader. The Phillies infield features both current stars and future stars. All 4 of Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Alec Bohm, and Bryson Stott have immense respect for the BCIB.

It is still early for the Phillies and for JT, but what he has done this season is special. He is more valuable to the team than what people realize. If the Phillies were to have any other catcher behind the plate this season, I don't think this team would be as hot as they are.


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