If you could put together a starting lineup full of baseball’s best players, who would be included?
The answer to that question will vary depending on who is asked, and there’s no right or wrong here. There are tons of terrific players in today’s game, and there are a countless number of permutations that could lead to a dominant squad.
Although fWAR is far from perfect, it’s the only stat that considers all of a player’s contributions while packing it neatly into one number. Who accumulated the most fWAR at their respective positions in 2018? To be considered for this list, players had to be qualified for the batting title, along with playing the majority of their games at the specific position in question.
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
2018 fWAR: 4.8
He didn’t want to be playing for Miami in 2018, but Realmuto did a good job of not letting those desires impact his actual performance. The 27-year-old set new single-season career highs in home runs (21), runs scored (74), RBI (74), walk rate (7.2%), OPS (.825), wRC+ (126), and fWAR (4.8).
Outside of wRC+, this is the third consecutive year in which his numbers in each of the other categories improved. Realmuto’s batted-ball profile underwent a change, too. Entering 2018, his ground-ball rate had never been lower than 47.0%, but it dropped all the way down to 39.8% this past year. His line-drive rate (22.8%) and fly-ball rate (37.4%) both increased as a result.