Fantasy Baseball Instant Reaction: Impact of Phillies' trade for J.T. Realmuto
The Marlins trade J.T. Realmuto, and the catcher may just be a superstar in Philly
We'll get into to the players the Marlins got in return, but the most impactful Fantasy result of this trade is that there should no longer be any question that Realmuto is the No. 1 catcher in Fantasy.
In four-plus years in Miami, Realmuto hit 64 points higher on the road than he did at Marlins Park, and his OPS was 170 points higher. Now, instead of playing half of his games in one of the worst hitter's parks in baseball, he'll call Citizen's Bank Park home. In 2017 this was the No. 1 park for right-handed home run hitters in baseball. He should crush his career-high of 21 home runs.
The other big upgrade comes from the players around him. Realmuto will likely hit in the top-five of a lineup that includes Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins. For a player who has never topped 74 runs or 74 RBI, this represents another opportunity for growth.
In a great park with a good supporting cast, Realmuto is not just a good catcher, he's going to be a good producer regardless of position. That makes him worthy of a pick as early as the third round.
While losing your best player is never a good thing, the Marlins came out of this deal OK. They'll replace Realmuto at catcher with Alfaro while adding Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart to their minor league system.
Alfaro is the only return who will be Fantasy relevant in 2019. He's a 25-year-old catcher who has 15 home runs in 508 career plate appearances. He strikes out way too often (35.2 percent in his career), but his 37 percent hard contact rate and 23 percent line drive rate from 2018 were both encouraging. With the park downgrade he won't likely be a starter in a one-catcher league, but in a two-catcher Rotisserie league he has sneaky upside.
While Sanchez won't be a part of the 2019 plans, he does have appeal in Dynasty leagues. He's still just 20 years old and owns a 2.48 ERA in 221.1 minor league innings. When he eventually makes it to the majors (2020?) he could be an interesting pitcher with his home games at Marlins Park. His lack of strikeouts (7.8 K/9) and injury history are red flags, but he's exhibited excellent control so far.
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