For the first time this season, Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto will take the field for Miami. Realmuto, who missed the first three weeks of the season due to a bone bruise in his back that kept him out of action for a month including missed time in spring training, returned to the club today and will be back in the lineup after the team activated him off the disabled list.
Realmuto, 27, joins the team on Tuesday after he needed just one game in the minors before he was ready to return to the majors. In his lone rehab start, Realmuto homered, doubled and singled in three at bats in a High-A rehab game.
Now with his return, fantasy owners regain one of the top-six fantasy catchers in baseball. While the loss of the core hitters from last season's team will hurt Realmuto's ability to produce runs, this is still a very capable player. This is still a player with plenty of pop in his bat, demonstrated by 17 home runs and 31 doubles last season. Realmuto also offers a nice addition of speed with 28 stolen bases combined in the past three seasons.
From a slash line perspective, fantasy owners should also feel fairly confident. A career .280/.322/.428 slash line shows Realmuto can more than hold his own at the plate as a multi-category contributor in H2H category leagues and his overall production makes him a reliable piece in DFS contests and season-long points scoring leagues. Realmuto could even improve upon his on-base percentage from last season as opposing pitchers work to pitch around him and face lesser hitters in Miami's lineup.
For Miami, Realmuto's return means the opportunity for him to play in meaningful games and hopefully draw more attention from MLB teams as a potential piece to trade for. Realmuto will be a hot trade candidate as the season unfolds and his fantasy value would only grow more with a trade out of Miami.