The Philadelphia Phillies have achieved catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins. Furthermore, they’re paying an overwhelming cost to do it. The clubs recently reported that the Phillies are sending top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro, lefty Will Stewart, and international bonus pool cash to Miami.
Realmuto, who will turn 28 amid spring training, is falling off an All-Star season in which he hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, 74 RBI, and 74 runs scored in 531 plate appearances. By FanGraphs’ rendition of WAR Realmuto was the best catcher in baseball in 2018 by a generous edge, outpacing second-place Yasmani Grandal by 1.2 wins. He was harmed by his pitcher-friendly home park too, so between an exacting difference in landscape from moving to Citizens Bank Park and a philosophical difference in view from leaving the dreary world of Miami Marlins baseball, there is motivation to trust that he’ll have a pleasant 2019. Ask Christian Yelich how that works.
That is all great — it’s a major pickup for the Phillies — however to get him they are surrendering one of the best prospects in all of baseball. Sanchez, 20, throws what ESPN’s Keith Law as of late portrayed as the easiest 100 mph fastball in pro baseball.” He was simply positioned as baseball’s thirteenth best by and large prospect by Baseball America, 23rd by Baseball Prospectus, 27th by MLB.com, and 35th by ESPN. This regardless of the way that he still can’t seem to pitch an inning above A-ball. While his 2018 season was stopped by elbow irritation, he is reported for to be healthy again and ready to resume a minor league career that has already seen him post a 2.48 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 191/43 in 221.1 innings.
Alfaro, who was slated to be the Phillies’ beginning catcher, hit .262/.324/.407 (OPS+ 95) with ten homers in 377 plate appearances a year ago. Stewart was a twentieth round pick for the Phillies in 2015. He’s coming off an excellent 20-begin season in A-ball in which he posted a 2.06 ERA.
Realmuto is surely an upgrade behind the plate for the Phillies. The question people will ask, in any event if Sanchez satisfies his extensive potential, is whether the Phillies could’ve understood a huge overhaul behind the plate by marking a free specialist, such as, Wilson Ramos or Yasmani Grandal and surrendering just cash, instead of a blue chip prospect, to do it.
That may be an question that is never asked — pitching prospects can break your heart — or, at the most, will be asked one more day. Until further notice the Phillies are at long last getting their man and the Marlins, finally, are unloading a catcher who made no secret about wanting out of Miami.
A lot of baseball team have concluded that they didn’t want to improve themselves this offseason. One cannot say that about the Philadelphia Phillies.