Welcome to another installment of taking a dated reference, applying it to fantasy baseball, and then hoping in some manner or form, the SEO Gods smile upon our trending use of keywords and relevant current topics while attributing it all to fantasy baseball. So while I’ll have zero commentary on whatever is going on with the prominent comedian that the title references, I would only say that you aren’t a good comedian if you aren’t dumping on someone or something. And seeing as how I’ve fulfilled my digital marketing requirements (a new digital world!), we move on to why we’re all here, to see what happens when keeping it real goes all Muto. Which sounds like a character from a Miyazaki film, or perhaps the religion that Jared Leto should be a part of (putting the mute in muto, amirite folks?) But yeah, J.T. Realmuto? Let’s discuss. Or I guess type…

Currently, J.T. Realmuto has been pretty hot. I mean, he’s no Ryan Gosling, but since June 30th, he’s hit .349 with 3 HR and 2 SB. And just this past week before the All-Star break, he was hitting .545. But while he’s been hitting the cover off the ball, his season still remains a bit in flux as his ISO sits at .147 for the season, substantially lower than his career average and the .196 mark he’s held for the past five seasons.

Known as a top prospect back in the early 10’s, the former high school quarterback was coming off a senior year in which he garnered 88 hits, 28 of those homeruns, with a .595 batting average, setting national records. While drafted as a shortstop, the Marlins quickly moved him to catcher and adjusted his approach at the plate with positive results. In his 2011 debut season in Low-A Greensboro, he maintained a .351 OBP and .519 SLG, finishing the year with 12 homeruns. On the flipside, his defense was solid, projecting a player that could stay at the backstop position for quite some time, buoyed by a strong arm and quick release.

The rest is literal history, from 2014 to the present, from the Marlins to the Phillies, Realmuto has pretty much been the guy everyone thought he was going to be, a stable presence at the catcher position with plus defense, and an equal presence at the plate. And as I alluded to above, his power output pretty much stabilized back in 2017 where around 20 homeruns became the norm along with a pretty solid .270/.330/.475 averaging slash to go with. He even kept it real on the basepaths, netting 13 steals last season with 12 already in 2022. But we get to the crux of the matter, even with Realmuto projected to play in more games and top his plate appearances from 2021, his homerun total would end up lower than last year.

Some notable things that might be causing this are your normal suspects though. First, his BABIP is a bit lower than his career mark (.302 vs. .316 career and .325 in 2021) and he’s swinging a tiny bit more at outside pitches, but I want to be clear that everything else in his profile looks encouraging. The Statcast numbers essentially tell the story, he’s still hitting the ball hard, and his launch angle remains steady, and he’s even improved a bit at cutting down his swinging strike rate while maintaining a normal BB%. All this is to say, I think he may have a great second half.

Generally, I’d feel a bit bad for complaining about a catcher that’s hitting .250 with 8 homeruns so far on the year. But everything in his profile looks solid and very similar to the past five seasons where he’s shown he can do more at the plate. Obviously, no one can tell the future, and technically, as the lesson states, keeping it real more than not generally leads to something going wrong, but everything in Realmuto’s profile says that he’s going to keep it right… so I’m just going to trust it and expect his usual production the rest of the way. Say .275 with 10 homeruns and a smattering of other stuff. Add that to his totals and steals, you definitely aren’t getting J.T. Fakemuto, amiright folks?

It only goes down from here…

 

Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him on Twitter @jaywrong.