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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: J.T. REALMUTO CATCHER MIAMI MARLINS

J.T. Realmuto:  Meet the new number 1 catcher for 2019 fantasy baseball!  With previous top options Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants both coming off a bad year to differing degrees in 2018, it was the Miami Marlins' J.T. Realmuto who set the bar offensively at the position last season by reaching career-highs in home runs (21), RBI (74), and runs (74); while also batting a solid .277 in the magical age-27 campaign.  While Realmuto had to deal with a severe lack of support in the Miami lineup, he continues to reach new offensive levels every season which is the path you want your prospective fantasy baseball players to be traversing.  The fact Realmuto can combine a good batting average with 20-home runs power makes him extremely valuable due to the utter lack of offensive contributors at the position but of course, the debate about using an early-round pick on a catcher is one of the more pronounced discussions each spring.  By now you all know that our stance is firm in suggesting not to use an early round pick on a catcher and we only have to see the hurt that Posey and Sanchez put on their fantasy baseball owners the year prior as evidence of the risks in making such a move.  With that said, Realmuto is the guy you take if you do choose to go that route and since he is just getting into his prime, there should be nice offensive stability here despite the high risk of injury when manning the tools of ignorance.  About the only other quibble we have here outside of the injury factor is that Realmuto's days of running already appear to be over as he swiped just 3 bags in 531 at-bats last season.  After swiping 12 bases in 2016, Realmuto has sharply declined in that area in taking just 8 and last year's 3 since.  Considering how unmatched the rest of Realmuto's numbers are at the position compared to the rest of the catchers, this is not a major deal by any means in terms of the guy's 2019 value.
2019 PROJECTION:  .279 19 HR 75 RBI 77 R 4 SB 

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