Thursday, May 19, 2016


With the 2016 fantasy baseball season approaching two months in the books, a hitter or pitcher's numbers to this point are becoming more indicative of what kind of a campaign they are having given the growing sample size.  Surely we all have so far missed or hit on some under the radar players but with four months to go, it is still early enough for those struggling to turn things around.  On the flip side, those who have met or even exceeded sleeper status production aret he apple of their owners' eyes and in the case of yours truly, that applies to Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.  In going with my tried-and-true method of drafting a catcher for success, I waited until the middle rounds to grab my starters in the Experts League in the form of Realmuto who I pointed out was a severely undervalued catching option.  Lauding the great contact rate for a catcher and the ability to pick up some incredibly rare steals, Realmuto had a lot going for him for 2016.  The fantasy baseball public didn't pay him much mind though due to his overall numbers which didnd't make a big enough impact for many during his 2015 debut (.259, 10 HR, 8 SB).  Be that as it may, I saw value all the way and so far Realmuto has been a smashing success.

Heading into Thursday games, Realmuto has yielded the following numbers on the season:

2 HR
14 R
13 RBI
2 SB

A few things stand out here, namely the sweet .310 average that for a catcher is like .330.  Again pointing out the terrific approach Realmuto has, he has struck out in only 14.2 percent of his at-bats which is very low for a young hitter.  Making matters even more sweet, Realmuto has contributed a bit in all five ROTO categories including steals.  Never can you find five-tool catchers but that is what Realmuto has been and the Marlins were impressed enough to have him batting leadoff in place of the suspended Dee Gordon for some games.

Now as far as possibly downsides, power is not the name of the game here.  A good home run season for Realmuto would be 10-12 which pales in comparsion to the Brian McCann's, Buster Posey's, and even Wellington Castillo's of the world.  Also Realmuto has a very lucky .349 BABIP which is way above his .285 mark there from last season.  That means a correction is likely on the way, with Realmuto's average taking a dip to around the .275 range.  That is still a very good average for a catcher and the very good counting statistics and steals make him a slam-dunk top 5-7 catcher in this awful year of production from those who wear the tools of ignorance. 

So J.T. Realmuto goes down as yet another in a long line of examples of affordable value catchers like Wellington Castillo was for me a year ago.  Keep looking for those values as they are always there for you and makes picking a backstop early a terrible draft decision.


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