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The Dark Horse NL MVP Candidate

J.T. Realmuto is the certified Best Catcher in Baseball. He’s also the Good Phil of the Week.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In one of our biggest celebrations of the Philadelphia Phillies, every week the members of The Good Phight will be issuing one of baseball’s greatest achievements to date: The Good Phil of the Week Award. One MLB player and one MiLB player will receive the award each week and will be able to boast to their teammates that they are, in fact, a Good Phil.

Major League Good Phil of the Week: J.T. Realmuto

Calling J.T. a dark horse MVP candidate is definitely a bit of a stretch and a bit of catering to the audience, but calling him the best catcher in baseball is as close to being a fact as an opinion can get.

This week, J.T. went 10-for-24 (.417) with four doubles, four home runs, five runs scored and nine RBIs. He also caught three runners stealing.

J.T.’s season totals are starting to stack up, aided by his monster week, and he’s on pace to match or surpass multiple career-highs. He already has set career-highs in both runs scored (75) and runners caught stealing (34). He’s just two home runs and eight RBIs shy of the marks he set last season.

It’s good to see J.T.’s offense heating up, to match his league-obliterating defense. His 34 runners caught stealing is absolutely absurd. To put it into perspective, his previous career-high was 28, set in 2016. The next highest player this season is Yasmani Grandal, who has 20. The Phillies lead all of Major League Baseball in runners caught stealing, with 37. The next highest team is Oakland, who has 33.

Yes, that means that J.T. alone has more runners caught stealing than any other team in the majors.

Since 2000, only 19 catchers have surpassed 40 runners caught stealing. With 34 through 124 games, J.T. is on pace to reach around 44. That number has only been reached five times since 2000.

The thing that could keep him from getting there is the reputation that he’s building as the league’s best defensive catcher. It’s simple logic: Teams are less likely to attempt to run on someone who is known for being tough to run on. For now, though, let’s all just enjoy watching other teams try to run on him. It’s fun.

Other Good Phils Receiving Votes:

Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, Roman Quinn (2), Blake Parker, Hector Neris, Rhys Hoskins Charlie Manuel

Minor League Good Phil of the Week: Kendall Simmons

Drafted in the sixth round in 2018, Simmons has not been one of the top names in the Phillies system. But his 2019 campaign may change that. This week, he went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double, two triples, two home runs and five RBIs. He now has 11 homers and 30 RBIs through 39 games with short-season Williamsport and is slashing .267/.353/.618.

Other Minor League Good Phils Receiving Votes:

Bryson Stott, Austin Listi

Season Totals

Major League:

Bryce Harper: 5/27-6/2, 7/15/7/21, 8/5-8/11

Jay Bruce: 6/3-6/9, 7/1-7/7

Scott Kingery: 6/10-6/16

Chase Utley: 6/17-6/23

Aaron Nola: 6/24-6/30, 7/1-7/7

Maikel Franco: 7/8-7/14

J.T. Realmuto: 7/22-7/28, 8/12-8/18

Roman Quinn: 7/29-8/4

Minor League:

Adam Haseley: 5/27-6/2

Kyle Glogoski: 6/3-6/9, 6/17-6/23

Damon Jones: 6/10-6/16

Alec Bohm: 6/17-6/23, 6/24-6/30, 7/1-7/7

Bryson Stott: 7/8-7/14

Spencer Howard: 7/15/7/21, 7/22-7/28

Adonis Medina: 7/29-8/4

Mickey Moniak: 8/5-8/11

Kendall Simmons: 8/12-8/18