Salvador Perez Is Already the Best Catcher in the American League

Sep 16, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) drives in a run with a single against the Cleveland Indians in the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

When one thinks of the top catchers in baseball, typically one thinks of Buster Posey, Joe Mauer and Yadier Molina. When healthy, Brian McCann also cracks that list. But somewhat under the radar, the Royals may actually have the best catcher in the American League in Salvador Perez.

It is difficult to think of a 23 year old in his first full season as the best in his league at what he does, especially when there is a player such as Mauer that shares his position. However, Perez had a season that would have been excellent for any catcher, regardless of how long they had been in the league. Not only did he produce at a .292/.323/.433 clip with 13 home runs, but he did most of that damage as an actual catcher. When penciled in behind the plate, Perez put together a .287/.319/.422 batting line with 12 home runs. Among catchers with a minimum of 275 plate appearances, Perez ranked sixth in batting average and doubles, tied for fourth in RBIs and was ninth in runs scored. Add in his All-Star game appearance and Gold Glove award, and that year become even better.

Now with Mauer being converted to being a first baseman full time, who else is there in the American League to challenge Salvador Perez as the best catcher in the league? McCann, if healthy, could make a case, but what other options are there? Matt Wieters just has not lived up to his potential, and despite his ability to hit home runs, has not done more than show flashes of the talent that made him a top prospect. Yan Gomes has also showed potential during his time with Cleveland last year, but is he ready to be in that class of player?

With only one full year in the majors, Perez has already started to put together an impressive resume. As he continues to develop, it may be possible that what would have been a career season for most players is only the beginning of what Perez can accomplish. If that ends up being the case, the contract that the Royals signed Perez to, which already seems like a bargain, would end up being that much more of a steal.

Salvador Perez is already one of, if not the best, catcher in the American League. In another couple of seasons, he could end up in the conversation for being the best catcher in baseball.

Topics: Joe Mauer, Kansas City Royals, Salvador Perez

Want more from Kings of Kauffman?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • Eric Akers

    Yan and Sal are the same looking at fWar, despite Sal having more plate appearances. I would like to se a full season of Yan however.

    • Dave Hill

      Same here. Even though I have a soft spot for Gomes since he was my starting catcher on a fantasy baseball championship team, I still don’t know if he can be trusted over a full season.

  • moretrouble

    While I appreciate the offensive boost that Perez provides the KC offense, I value his pitch calling and defense more. Fans take a catcher’s defense and throwing for granted sometimes when they see it every day. Perez is an amazing catcher and worth the price of a ticket all by himself.

    • tmcneezy

      Yup, already an elite defensive catcher with burgeoning offensive talent

TEAMFeed More Royals news from the Fansided Network

Hot on the Web From golf.com