Gold Glove

Another week, another award for J.T. Realmuto

Another week, another award for J.T. Realmuto

Even more hardware for J.T. Realmuto. A week after winning the Gold Glove award, Realmuto on Thursday was named the NL’s Silver Slugger recipient among catchers.

Realmuto beat out Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal, who hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 RBI. Realmuto himself hit .275/.325/.493 with 25 homers and 83 RBI. Comparable offensive seasons aside from OBP.

The big difference in their seasons is that Grandal had a furious start to the season, whereas Realmuto didn’t start clicking until right around the All-Star break. After a slightly disappointing first half, Realmuto still ended up setting career-highs in slugging, homers, RBI, doubles, runs and walks.

It is Realmuto’s second straight Silver Slugger award.

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Phillies' J.T. Realmuto wins Gold Glove award

Phillies' J.T. Realmuto wins Gold Glove award

For the first time in 20 years, a Phillies catcher won the Gold Glove award.

In one of the locks of the year, J.T. Realmuto was honored as the National League's best defensive catcher Sunday night. He beat out San Diego's Austin Hedges and St. Louis' Yadier Molina for the award.

The last Phillies catcher to win a Gold Glove was Mike Lieberthal in 1999. Realmuto was one of three Phillies named a Gold Glove finalist, along with right fielder Bryce Harper and pitcher Aaron Nola.

The only player in the majors within even 123 innings caught of Realmuto was Yasmani Grandal, who caught 43 fewer innings than Realmuto's league-high 1,139.

Realmuto threw out 43 would-be base stealers, 16 more than anyone in the majors and the most by any catcher in any season since Jonathan Lucroy nabbed 44 in 2016.

The advanced metrics favored Realmuto as well. He had the fastest pop time in all of baseball on throws to second base and throws to third base. (Pop time measures the time from the moment the pitch hits the catcher's mitt to the moment the ball reaches the fielder's projected receiving point at the center of the base.)

On max effort throws, Realmuto graded out as second among catchers in arm strength, just behind San Diego's Francisco Mejia, who achieved that number in a much smaller sample size.

Pitch-framing was an area in which Realmuto hadn't previously been atop the league. That changed in 2019. He put in the work in spring training and was a well-above-average pitch-framer throughout the year without sacrificing any reliability receiving the ball cleanly. That contrasted from previous Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro, who was an effective framer but a butcher receiving and blocking the ball.

Realmuto saved the Phillies eight runs with his framing, according to Statcast. That ranked seventh in the majors. He was particularly effective in getting extra strikes on pitches on the outside corner.

Realmuto made just $5.9 million in 2019. He significantly increased his already substantial worth. An extension from the Phillies may cost between $100 million and $120 million. The upcoming season will be his last under team control.

Offensively, Realmuto had a slow first half but ended up having his best season. He set career highs in doubles (36), homers (25), RBI (83), runs (92), walks (41) and slugging percentage (.493).

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Scott Kingery punctuates breakout year with Minor League Gold Glove

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Scott Kingery punctuates breakout year with Minor League Gold Glove

A day after being honored at Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies' top minor-league position player of 2017, Scott Kingery on Tuesday won a minor-league Gold Glove award.

Kingery converted 98.9 percent of his defensive chances at second base this season, committing just six errors in 529 opportunities. 

The award punctuates an extremely impressive all-around season from the 23-year-old Kingery, who spent half the season with Double A Reading and the other half with Triple A Lehigh Valley. He hit .304/.359/.530 over 603 plate appearances with 29 doubles, 8 triples, 26 homers, 65 RBIs, 103 runs and 29 steals in 34 attempts.

Kingery isn't far away from the majors, but as you've likely read or heard, the Phillies will gain an extra year of team control if they keep him in the minors until mid-late May in 2018. The Phils went a similar route with Maikel Franco in 2015, keeping him in the minors until May 15.

Of Kingery's 132 starts this season, 112 came at second base. He also started four games at third base and two at shortstop at Triple A as the Phillies sought more positional flexibility.

When Kingery eventually arrives in the majors, it could come at the expense of Franco, who just hasn't hit enough to stave off high-upside players like Kingery and J.P. Crawford. Defensively, Crawford has acquitted himself well so far at third base in the majors.