Can the Phillies' Star Catcher Beat the Age Curve?

Realmuto's offseason dedication sets a new standard for excellence

by Nouman Rasool
Can the Phillies' Star Catcher Beat the Age Curve?
© Tim Nwachukwu

Phillies star catcher J.T. Realmuto is working out in Philadelphia, making sure some of the traditional processes won't slow down his performance. He's recognized as one of the best catchers in Major League Baseball and a key to the team's success, particularly dealing with the harmonious handling of pitching efforts.

Such a player would be allowed nothing but a relentless pursuit of improvement, and an offseason spent reconfiguring a swing is resolute proof of this dogged quest for greatness. Matt Gelb of The Athletic provides a more in-depth explanation of Realmuto's work during the offseason.

Realmuto hooked up with hit man Kevin Long, using today's state-of-the-art equipment and biomechanical analysis to work on his leg kick. It's the part of his swing that tends to come under the most fire when out of alignment.

"So, to me, there's really no excuse with technology these days for not getting better," he said of how he approaches improvement of self. Sorting through the fine print, Realmuto finally saw issues of his own within his leg lift that, if addressed through him pre-setting to align the hands for the launch position in advance, would significantly clean up his stance.

Such an approach, potently impassioned, offers not merely high leg kicks but potentially places him in the best possible stances available and further re-emphasizes why he is among the game's three best backstops.

Defying Age's Decline

Realmuto's intense commitment to his trade extends further still, beyond most personal ambitions; it precisely reflects the ambition coursing through the Philadelphia Phillies to win a World Series, too.

One birthday away from 33, Realmuto said he realizes: "I don't want to start declining with age." That is the mindset he shared with Gelb in a similar session, as if to say he has no plans to allow attrition to catch up with him in the way that concept plagues most professional athletes as they get older.

The assertion that Philadelphia is seeking championship glory consists of players like Realmuto, whose relentless drive to improve and refusal to be content with simply making the postseason put them among those contenders.

The question behind Realmuto's bottomless pit for testing his own limits everyday pushes the Phillies ever so close to realizing their ability each day—a lifestyle that demands more.