Salvador Perez is being recognized for his solid (if slight) body of work on the MLB Network tonight. A new series over the next two weeks will feature the ten best players in the big leagues at every position. Perez landed on the catcher’s countdown.
The series is called “The Top 10 Right Now” and will air at 9 p.m. CST on the MLB Network. Rankings were put together through statistical analysis and will also feature Bill James and former big league catcher Dave Valle offering their input. Their considerations don’t even factor in Perez’s contract, which should look like the best investments in baseball by the end of it (if it doesn’t end up getting renegotiated at some point).
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who pays attention to the Royals. In just 115 games, Perez is already 17th in fWAR since the start of 2011, the ninth best wOBA over that span and the only catcher who’s struck out less in the last two seasons (percentage-wise) is Yadier Molina. Conveniently, that’s the most common comparison to Perez because right now Molina is the best catcher in the game and Perez could be the heir to that title.
But it’s not just the bat – the whole game is what counts. He’s got the arm and instincts and pitchers love throwing to him. Marcus Meade highlighted this double threat as a backstop a couple of weeks ago:
Many compare Perez to Yadier Molina, and looking at the numbers from last season, that seems reasonable. Molina led the league with 16 DRS—a number Perez may have reached in a full season of work. Only Molina and Buster Posey have the same type of dynamic catching ability mixed with firepower on offense that Perez has. Both of those players have led their teams to World Series championships. Coincidence? I think not.
So yeah, he should be among a countdown of the best catchers in the game. Provided he stays healthy (and I’ll be anxiously holding my breath during the WBC when Perez plays for Team Venezuela – any time a player is playing but not in his team’s camp, I’d get nervous), he could easily land on the American League All-Star team.
So set your DVRs, clear an hour of your schedule and turn on the TV and listen to the MLB Network sing the praises of Salvador Perez. This may be the only player the Royals will get in this series (until next year, that is, right?).