J.T. Realmuto (PHI): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.
No joke, this season is shaping up to be a spectacular one with many incredible season-long performances. We are witnessing Aaron Judge smash his way into the history books, Shohei Ohtani’s domination on both sides of the field, and two of the most electric first-year players competing for the illustrious ROY Award. Still, there is someone else trying to do something unheralded. J.T Realmuto might go 20/20.
After last night’s 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, and BB performance, J.T. Realmuto sits at 18 HRs and 17 SB. While a 20/20 season is not entirely out of the ordinary, from the catcher’s position, it’s a downright unicorn. The last time baseball saw a 20/20 season from a backstop was in 1999 when Ivan Rodriguez accomplished the feat. That’s it!
|Iván Rodríguez||1999||144 (630)||35||25|
|J.T. Realmuto||2022||121 (492)||18||17|
Now, it’s going to be tight. Realmuto doesn’t have much more than 20 or so games left. However, the HRs project to get him there, and as we’ve learned, SBs are heavily predicated on intent. With all the calamity distracting us at the end, don’t forget to keep an eye on the Phillies’ dynamic talent behind the plate as he pushes towards his achievement.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday.
Rodolfo Castro (PIT): 2-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB.
Castro wasn’t on many people’s radars to begin the season, but after last night’s combo meal(HR+SB), that might change next year. The multi-tool infielder bumped his HR total to nine while showcasing the speed for a fifth stolen base, all in under 190 ABs. If you just took simple math and multiplied by 2.5 (getting him to roughly 530 ABs), his pace is 22 HRs and 12 stolen bases. That’s very interesting, especially if he continues to cut the K-rate to better than the league average.
Gunnar Henderson (BAL): 2-4, 2B, 3B, R, 4 RBI.
As Baltimore creeps closer and closer to Tampa in the divisional standings, the infusion of youth is aiding the movement. Additionally, players like Henderson are a massive part. As he entered the fray in early September, we pondered; Will he play every day? Will he be effective? Can he handle MLB pitching? Well, the answers are yes, yes, and yes. In an uber-small 50 AB sample, he’s showing off a 153 wRC+ with a 20.7% K-rate and .320/.370/.520 slash line. Yeah, he’s ready.
Mickey Moniak (LAA): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Last night, the former number one overall pick in 2016 flexed his abilities by taking Cal Quantrill deep in the 3rd inning. Two innings later, he doubled off Quantrill and crossed home plate. It’s been a long journey to get Moniak to the big leagues, and he’s got some work to do if he wants to stick. Indeed, last night showed what he’s capable of, but there’s A TON of work to do at the dish, mainly cutting the putrid strikeout rate (35.6%).
Julio Rodríguez (SEA): 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB.
With another combo meal for J-Rod, he continues to make his case for AL ROY. The Seattle stud OF now touts a wRC+ 43% higher than the replacement level and within shouting distance of a 30/30 season. Sadly, due to a slow start and lack of PAs, he won’t get there…this season. Still, he’s an elite-level talent, only 21 years old, and will be a force to reckon with for years to come.
Jonah Heim (TEX): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Heim took a 2-0 cutter deep to center field for his 14th HR, but unfortunately, that was the end of the Rangers’ scoring, and Oakland came back to claim victory. For Heim, this has been a solid season with plenty of development. He nearly doubled his walk rate from the previous season with a more selective approach to the dish, especially late in the count. All while maintaining a better-than-league-average ISO (.172). With Mitch Garver missing so much time and not playing behind the plate defensively, Texas may have their catcher for next season all locked up.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Is it a down year for Vlad? Meh, perhaps in the power as he sits 20 HR shy of last season’s total. Additionally, the counting stats are way down, and the batting average has slid a touch. However, we are still discussing a top-5 performance among qualified first basemen. Sure, the groundball rate jumped back to over 50%, but still, the K-rate is a crazy-low 16%, and the .207 ISO suggests the power didn’t go anywhere. He probably sits somewhere between last season and this one, making him an exceptional player.
Gleyber Torres (NYY): 3-5, R, RBI, SB.
The Bronx needed a hero, and they got one last night from
Aaron Judge…Gleyber Torres. In the 5th inning, he singled to score a pair of runs, and in the 9th inning, he reached via a fielding error that allowed teammate Tim Locastro to score. Furthermore, Torres is having a bounceback season with 21 HRs and nine SBs. After several seasons of regressing in the wrong direction, it’s a welcomed surprise for the only 25-year-old infielder.
Javier Báez (DET): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
It’s been a minute since we’ve talked about Báez, hasn’t it? Typically, that’s not a good thing in the Batter’s Box, as we like to highlight players doing beautiful things on a nightly basis. Unfortunately, Báez is having a season with big-time slumps in it. When you strike out (28.7% K-rate) as much as Báez and rarely walk (4.8% career walk rate), there will be several peaks and valleys in your season. While he cut this season’s strikeouts back to a 25.3% clip, the power (.143 ISO, 13 HR) is way off. He’ll be a much-debated player for next year’s draft season since we’re only a year removed from a 31 HR/18 SB.
Ryan McMahon (COL): 2-5, 2B, R.
In late August, McMahon moved to the leadoff spot for Colorado, and it’s been much of the same. In that timespan, 10-for-44 with three dingers and 15 strikeouts (31.3% K-rate). His 93 wRC+ suggests he’s not really worthy of the lineup re-position either. Indeed, I noticed that most of those starts came on the road. That’s where McMahon holds any sort of reliable value; inside Coors Field. Continue to start him at home, where his OPS is 200 points higher, and sit him any other time.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)