PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies fans have been calling J.T. Realmuto the BCIB (best catcher in baseball) for years.
Fans and a panel of experts agree.
Realmuto earned selection to the 2022 All-MLB First Team on Monday, while Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber and right-hander Aaron Nola earned Second Team honors. Realmuto batted .276 with 22 home runs, 84 RBIs, 21 stolen bases, an .820 OPS and a 129 OPS+ in the regular season. He joined Ivan Rodriguez as the only catchers in MLB history with at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season.
Realmuto finished seventh for the National League MVP Award, while winning his second career Gold Glove Award and third Silver Slugger Award.
Realmuto was one of baseball’s very best down the stretch. He slashed .310/.367/.587 from June 25 through the end of the regular season, which coincided with Bryce Harper missing two months due to a broken left thumb.
Realmuto led NL players and pitchers with 4.7 WAR (per FanGraphs) in that span. Only Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (7.3) was better.
Realmuto finished the season with a career-high 6.5 fWAR, which ranked 10th among MLB position players. It ranked fourth all time among catchers aged 31 or older in a single season. Only the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Roy Campanella (7.7 in 1953), the Braves' Javy Lopez (6.8 in 2003) and the Mets’ Gary Carter (6.7 in 1985) were better. The Yankees’ Yogi Berra ranks fifth (6.4 in 1956).
Schwarber joined Julio Rodríguez and Kyle Tucker on the Second Team outfield. Judge, Mookie Betts and Mike Trout made the First Team. Nola joined Julio Urías, Dylan Cease, Max Fried and Max Scherzer in the Second Team rotation. Sandy Alcantara, Shohei Ohtani, Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez and Alek Manoah made the First Team.
Schwarber led the NL with 46 home runs and slashed .218/.323/.504. He hit seven leadoff homers in the regular season, second in franchise history to Jimmy Rollins’ nine in 2007. Schwarber had a franchise-record eight multihomer games; Dick Allen (1968), Ryan Howard (2006) and Chase Utley ('06) shared the previous record of seven. Schwarber’s 46 homers rank sixth in Phillies history behind Howard (58 in 2006, 48 in ‘08 and 47 in ‘07), Mike Schmidt (48 in 1980) and Jim Thome (47 in 2003).
Nola went 11-13 with a 3.25 ERA in 32 starts. He led MLB pitchers in fWAR (6.3) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (8.10). He ranked second in innings pitched (205) and walk rate (3.6%); fourth in strikeouts (235) and bWAR (6.0); and fifth in starts (32). Nola joined Cliff Lee (2012) as the only pitchers in Phillies history to have fewer than 30 walks in 30 or more starts in a season. It has happened only 57 times in MLB history.