When the Philadelphia Phillies introduced Bryce Harper in early March, he said that he was excited to play with J.T. Realmuto, who he called “his favorite player in the game.”
Nearly a full season of playing with Realmuto hasn’t changed Harper’s opinion of the Phillies 28-year-old catcher.
After Realmuto threw out three would-be basestealers in the Phillies extra-inning victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday evening, Harper weighed in on his teammate’s chances of winning the National League Gold Glove Award at catcher.
“If he doesn’t win the Gold Glove Award this year, then it’s an absolute joke,” Harper said to the collective media, including Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Realmuto has now thrown out 33 potential basestealers in 2019, which leads all catchers in baseball. Additionally, Realmuto has 11 defensive runs saved in 2019 and has a 24.6 defensive WAR, the best mark of any position player in the sport. Among National League catchers, he’s been the best defender by a wide margin.
What’s more, FanGraphs says that Realmuto has actually been the best overall defender at any position in 2019. Not only is he worthy of the National League Gold Glove Award at catcher, his name figures to find its way into the Platinum Glove Discussion in the National League. The Platinum Glove is issued to the best overall defender in each league, and is determined by a mixture of a fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index.
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