J.T. Realmuto: Top 5 Catcher in 2016?

The catcher position may one of the more shallow positions in fantasy baseball. After the top couple of names, the talent and fantasy value drops off. Because of this, some owners decide to stream catchers throughout the season. One catcher that got a lot of attention was Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. He is a rare talent and could be a top-five catcher next season.

Realmuto was widely unknown entering the 2015 season. He went undrafted in 99 percent of ESPN leagues. He played in just 11 games in last season. In those games, he hit .241 with nine RBI. It just wasn’t a big enough sample size to deem worth drafting this year.  

In the first two months of the season, J.T. Realmuto hit two home runs, 10 RBI, two stolen bases and a .213 batting average. The power was there, but not enough worth adding over some other catchers. The two stolen bases would be something to watch as the year went on.

When the season ended, Realmuto finished with 10 home runs, 47 RBI, eight stolen bases and a .259 average in 126 games. Among qualified catchers, he was 17th in homers, 14th in RBI and first in stolen bases. Like I said, his stolen bases would be something to watch. His eight stolen bases were the month among catchers in the last two seasons.

J.T. Realmuto finished 312nd among all hitters and ninth among catchers on the Player Rater. Most of his stats were average across the board, but it was the bag swipes that put him in the top 10. I wrote about Realmuto as a top waiver wire pickup at the end of July.

Heading into next season, J.T. Realmuto is a top-10 catcher. The Marlins have some nice pieces in the lineup. Besides Giancarlo Stanton, there is Justin BourDee Gordon, and Marcell Ozuna. Bour and Stanton are 25-home run hitters, Gordon will steal 60 bases in his sleep and Ozuna will drive in 50 runs. All of these pieces make Realmuto a nice late-round draft pick in 2016.

The possibility of 15 home runs and 10 steals with a .250 average puts J.T. Realmuto in an exclusive class of catchers.

Projections: 108 hits, 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 10 stolen bases, .251 average

Draft: Round 15