Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Salvador Perez – Catcher
No one in the American League combines the magical defense and the handling of pitchers like Salvy. He is a virtuoso conductor behind the plate. Few would argue this point. On defense, his Range Factor is a full 1.5 higher than the next best catcher.
On offense, giving batting average a large chunk of the influence, there are just two catchers – Stephen Vogt, (.305) with the Oakland A’s, and Russell Martin (.297) with the Toronto Blue Jays – with better averages than Salvy’s .290. Both of them also beat out Salvy with HRs, slugging percentage and a few other categories. But it’s not a blow-out. And defensively, Vogt falls out of the picture completely – while Martin and Salvy are mostly on equal footing, with a slight nod toward our lovable Perez.
Perez also brings a leadership quality to the KC Royals that is impossible to quantify. While others may have the better statistical argument, although not by much, Salvy’s leadership and intangibles could be the deciding factor. Besides, who wouldn’t want to see him grinning at Miguel Cabrera during the entirety of the All-Star festivities?
A vote for Salvy is completely justifiable. I wish I had a smaller font to write this: So is a vote for Martin.
Next: A two man race