Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Another player who won a Gold Glove for the Royals last season, Salvador Perez may be on the verge of putting that award in a stranglehold at catcher. At age 24, and already regarded as one of the top defensive catchers in baseball, Perez may need to build a sizable trophy case for his upcoming Gold Glove awards.
That reputation took another step forward this season. Perez ranks ninth in the American League in defensive WAR at 2.o, and rates highest amongst American League catchers. Perez has continued to show off his outstanding arm, gunning down 30% of opposing baserunners. Of course, with the reputation that the cannon attached to his shoulder has, Perez has only had 77 runners attempt to steal against him.
With eight defensive runs saved, Salvador Perez is tied with Caleb Joseph for the best mark in the American League. Perez has also come to be known for his ability to block pitches in the dirt and to steal strikes for his pitchers. His presence behind the plate is a comfort for the pitching staff, knowing that they can bounce the two strike pitch without worrying about the ball reaching the backstop.
Perez has already developed into one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. The Gold Glove award may well have his named etched in it for the foreseeable future.