Jacob Tyler Realmuto (/riːlˈmuːtoʊ/ reel-MOO-toh; born March 18, 1991) is an American professional baseball catcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies. The Marlins selected Realmuto in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft and he made his MLB debut in 2014. In 2018, Realmuto was an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award at catcher. The Marlins traded him to the Phillies in February 2019.
Realmuto was born in Del City, Oklahoma, and grew up there and in Midwest City, Oklahoma. His parents Margaret and David are both blue-collar workers. His father played college baseball at Southwest Missouri State University. His uncle John Smith is Oklahoma State's wrestling coach, a six-time wrestling world champion, and a two-time Olympic wrestling gold medalist. Three of his other uncles were NCAA wrestling champions.
Realmuto attended Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, where he was a three-sport standout in baseball (becoming a starter as a freshman), football, and basketball. He played shortstop for the baseball team, quarterback (as well as tight end and safety) for the football team, and power forward for the basketball team. In his senior year in 2010, he set a national high school record with 119 runs batted in (RBIs) in 148 at bats in 42 games played for the baseball team; his batting average was .595 and he had 78 runs scored, 28 home runs, and 22 doubles. He was named the National Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, was named to its All-American team, and was named to the Louisville Slugger All-American team. He also won state championships in baseball and football. Academically, he had a 4.2 weighted grade point average and scored 32 on the ACT. He received the Bob Colon Scholarship, presented by The Oklahoman and the Jim Thorpe Association to the top male high school scholar-athlete in the Oklahoma City area. He committed to attend Oklahoma State University on a scholarship to play college baseball for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
A Florida Marlins' scout saw Realmuto playing catcher for Carl Albert High School, a position Realmuto occasionally played when the regular catcher was called on to pitch, and asked if he would be interested in playing catcher professionally. Realmuto agreed. The Marlins selected Realmuto in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft; he was the 104th overall pick. He gave up his baseball scholarship to Oklahoma State in favor of signing with the Marlins for a $700,000 signing bonus.
The Marlins converted Realmuto from shortstop to catcher in their minor league clubs in North Carolina, Jupiter, Jacksonville, and New Orleans. In 2010 as a 19-year-old he played for the GCL Marlins of the Rookie Gulf Coast League. He batted .175 in 40 at bats.
In 2011 he played for the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League. Realmuto batted .287/.347/.454 with 12 home runs, 49 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases in 348 at bats.
In 2012 Realmuto played for the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Class A+ Florida State League. He was named a Florida State League Mid-Season All Star. He batted .256/.319/.345 with 8 home runs, 46 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases in 446 at bats. He then played for the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League, and batted .222 in 36 at bats.
In 2013 he played for the Jacksonville Suns of the Class AA Southern League. Realmuto was named a Southern League Mid-Season All Star. He batted .239/.310/.353 with 5 home runs, 39 RBIs, and 9 stolen bases in 368 at bats. Realmuto was added to the Marlins' 40-man roster on November 20.
Realmuto began 2014 playing for Jacksonville again. He was named Southern League Player of the Week for the week ending April 21. For the Suns, he batted .299 (8th in the league)/.369/.461 (9th) with 66 runs (10th), 6 triples (tied for 6th), 8 home runs, 62 RBIs, and a career-high 18 stolen bases (9th) in 375 at bats. He was named a Southern League Mid-Season All Star, a Southern League Post-Season All Star, a Baseball America Double A All Star, and the Marlins' Minor League Player of the Year.
On June 1, 2014, Realmuto was called up to the Marlins in the MLB for the first time. On June 5, he recorded his first MLB career hit, off of Jake Odorizzi against the Tampa Bay Rays. For the 2014 season with the Marlins, he batted .241 with 9 RBIs in 29 at bats.
In 2015, while Realmuto joined the Marlins for spring training, he was sent to Triple-A to start the season, but stayed with the New Orleans Zephyrs for only three games. In the second week of the season, he was called up to fill in for injured catcher Jeff Mathis, At the end of April 2015, the Marlins designated catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment and promoted Realmuto to the starting catcher position. He batted .259/.290/.406 with 7 triples (5th in the NL, and the most by a catcher since Darrell Porter had eight in 1979), 10 home runs, 47 RBIs, and 8 stolen bases in 467 at bats. He had the fastest baserunning sprint speed of all major league catchers, at 28.8 feet/second. On defense, in 2015 he had the strongest arm strength (88.5) of all major league catchers. He was named to Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team, and was awarded the Miami Marlins Rookie of the Year Award by the Miami chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).
In 2016 he batted .303/.343/.428 with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 509 at bats. Realmuto again had the fastest baserunning sprint speed of all major league catchers, at 28.8 feet/second. On defense, Realmuto led National League catchers in assists, with 60, and in double plays, with 8, and he had the second-fastest pop time of all major league catchers (1.91; pop time is the time from the moment a pitch hits the catcher's mitt, to the moment the ball thrown by the catcher reaches the fielder's projected receiving point).
Realmuto was named the National League's Player of the Week for the week of April 2 – 9, 2017, the opening week of the 2017 MLB season. In 2017 he batted .278/.332/.451 with 17 home runs, 65 RBIs, and 8 stolen bases in 532 at bats. He for the third consecutive year had the fastest baserunning sprint speed of all major league catchers, at 28.6 feet/second. On defense, he had the second-fastest pop time of all major league catchers (1.90; on one play in 2017 he caught Odubel Herrera trying to steal with a 1.38 second pop time that was the fastest ever tracked by Statcast on a steal attempt of second or third), and he had the third-strongest arm strength (87.3) of all major league catchers. He was named the winner of the Jeff Conine Award by the Miami chapter of the BBWAA for the player whose commitment to the game of baseball is embodied in his integrity and unselfish play, and the winner of the Marlin's Heart and Hustle Award for his passion, desire, and work ethic both on and off the field by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA).
Realmuto was named to play in the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, his first-ever selection. In 2018 he batted .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, 74 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases in 531 at bats. He for the fourth year in a row had the fastest baserunning sprint speed of all major league catchers, at 28.6 feet/second. He led all major league catchers in runs (74), infield hits (15), and doubles (30), was 2nd in slugging percentage, was tied for 2nd in RBIs and triples (3), and was third in batting average. On defense his 38.2% caught stealing was the 4th-best in the National League, he had the fastest pop time of all major league catchers (1.90), and he had the second-strongest arm strength (87.8) of all major league catchers. He won the National League Silver Slugger Award at catcher, was voted the Marlins’ Most Valuable Player by the Miami chapter of the BBWAA, and won the Marlin's Heart and Hustle Award from the MLBPAA. Through 2018, he batted a significant career split of .245/.294/.384 at home at cavernous Marlins Park, against his much better career slash line on the road of .309/.356/.492.
Realmuto played on the MLB team in the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series in November 2018. In January 2019 he agreed with the Marlins to a $5.9 million contract, a $3 million increase, with bonuses of $50,000 each for All Star selection, a Gold Glove Award, and a Silver Slugger Award.
On February 7, 2019, Realmuto was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Jorge Alfaro, Sixto Sánchez, Will Stewart, and $250,000 in international bonus slot money. During the season he played in the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, his second All Star appearance.
In 2019, he batted .275/.328/.493 in 538 at bats with a career-high 92 runs, 36 doubles (the most ever by a Phillies catcher), 25 home runs, 83 RBIs, eight sacrifice flies (5th in the NL), and stole nine bases while being caught once. On defense, he threw out a major-league-high 47% of all attempted basestealers (consisting of a major-league-high 43 baserunners), again had the fastest pop time of all major league catchers (1.88), again had the second-strongest arm strength (88.4) of all major league catchers, and had an 11 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) rating (the best in the National League among catchers). He also led all major league catchers in double plays turned, with 14. He won his second career Silver Slugger award and his first Gold Glove Award.
Realmuto had a solid season behind the plate for the Phillies in 2020, putting up a .266 batting average with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in the shortened 60-game season.
Realmuto married Alexis (née Taylor) prior to 2016 spring training. They had a daughter, Gracie Laine, in July 2018. In July 2019, the couple welcomed their second daughter, Willa Mae. Realmuto is a Christian.