As most of you probably know, Major League Baseball has been running a contest where the fans determine who the face of their franchise is. Each player that was selected was then entered into a contest to determine who the face of baseball would be.
According to the fan vote, Alex Gordon was selected as the Face of the Royals. He certainly is a worthy candidate, having won three Gold Gloves and making an All-Star game last season. Yet, while Gordon represents the present for the Royals, he may not be the best choice. Presently, unless his representatives and the Royals work on an extension, Gordon is signed through 2015 with a team option for 2016. Instead, the face of the Royals should be someone who has not only already performed at a high level, but will remain a member of the Royals for the long term. Someone like Salvador Perez.
Perez has already established himself as one of, if not the best, catchers in the American League. Last season, in his first full year in the majors, Perez produced a .292/.323/.433 batting line, hitting 13 home runs. Even more impressively, Perez also earned an All-Star selection and won a Gold Glove last year. He did all of that while turning only 23 years old partway through 2013.
Those accolades are just from the beginning of his career. As Salvador Perez continues to progress and approach his peak, it is possible that he will only continue to get better. As a player who could already be considered one of the best at his position, he could well become the best catcher in the American League as soon as this year.
Meanwhile, the Royals have Perez locked up through 2016 with three more team friendly options, which would keep Perez with the Royals until the end of the decade. On a team that is basing their future success upon the contributions of their younger players, Perez may well become the poster child for that approach. Of all the Royals young players and prospects that came up, he has been the one that produced immediately.
Salvador Perez could lead the wave of the next crop of prospects that are expected to make an impact upon the Royals over the next few years. For that, and for what he has already accomplished, Perez may already be the face of the Royals.