There is something to be said for knowing what a player will provide each season. The KC Royals have that with Salvador Perez, but they need more from his offensive game.
Salvador Perez has been remarkable for his consistency with the KC Royals. In his three full seasons, he has played in no fewer than 138 games each year, winning the Gold Glove award and making the All-Star team. Perez has become a true asset for that defensive consistency, helping the Royals get more out of their pitching staff than one may expect from looking at the individual pieces.
While his steady defense has won quite a few accolades, Perez’ offensive consistency has slipped under the radar. Typically, when viewing his offensive profile, the two areas that are noted involve his increasing power numbers and declining on base percentage. However, Perez has been remarkable consistent in a few categories in the past two seasons.
In each of the past two seasons, Perez has posted a .260 batting average, 70 RBI and one stolen base. Perez has also hit 25 doubles in two of the past three years, seemingly make his projections easy enough to compile. Perhaps it is no surprise that the Marcel projections see Perez with 25 doubles, 69 RBI and a .270 batting average, given his performance in the past few seasons.
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Obviously, it is impossible to expect that Perez would hit those three marks for a third consecutive year. This does provide a solid baseline as to what one could expect if everything remains static with Perez. However, now that Perez is approaching his theoretical prime, one would hope that his numbers would improve going forward.
A large part of that would be getting Perez to improve his on base percentage. Since breaking into the Royals lineup in 2012, Perez has seen that ability to get on base decrease with each passing year, dropping from .328 OBP to .280 last season. Even though the power has increased, a more patient approach could lead to a true breakout for the Kansas City catcher.
There may be signs that the patience is beginning. Perez posted a .328 on base percentage during the 2015 postseason, which would be the best mark of any season he had more than 160 plate appearances. Perhaps the patient approach of Ben Zobrist, combined with Alex Gordon and Kendrys Morales, rubbed off on Perez during the playoff run, and can carry over this season.
Salvador Perez has been remarkably consistent, both defensively and offensively, for the KC Royals. With an improved approach at the plate, that consistency may change into true improvement.