While it probably took longer than he would have liked, free agent All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto finally got his money as he inked a five-year extension with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday worth $155.5 million. Widely considered to be the best catcher in the game and the top target at the position in fantasy baseball drafts, right off the bat one big positive for Realmuto going forward is that he will remain in one of the best offensive ballparks in the majors. Breaking things down a bit further, Realmuto does technically remain in his prime at the current age of 29 but he will turn 30 in March which is usually when some trouble begins to brew in terms of the offensive numbers for catchers. One only has to look at recent All-Stars and even MVP candidates such as Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, and Russell Martin as recent examples of top-notch offensive catchers who really began to fall off when they reached their 30's and so this is something we should at least be aware of when deciding to cut a check on Realmuto this season. Be that as it may, Realmuto showed no signs of slippage in 2020 when he smacked 11 home runs, drove in 32, and batted .264 for the Phillies in the shortened season and the last time he played a full campaign, the statistics looked like this:
Those are just superb numbers for a catcher and Realmuto's power has really taken off the last two years due to some assistance from his home ballpark. In addition, Realmuto is still running as he has swiped 13 bags the last two seasons but again at the age of 30 in March, we can't really depend on contributions there going forward. Consider any stolen base at this stage a bonus but everything else looks primed for a nice repeat which include another 25 home runs and 90 RBI and runs scored. Add it all up and Realmuto once again is the top catcher for 2021 fantasy baseball and should see his name called as early as Round 3. While we think that is too pricey for a catcher due to all the days off and risk of injury, the per game production certainly is up to such a standard.
2021 PROJECTION: .278 24 HR 93 RBI 95 R 7 SB