CATCHER: SALVADOR PEREZ
This one is actually pretty easy. Yes, Darrell Porter and Jim Sundberg were good receivers for the Kansas City Royals who played on winning teams. Sundberg, in particular, did an outstanding job in 1985 nursing a young pitching staff through the club’s first World Series win.
But, Salvador Perez is the only catcher in KC Royals history to ever win multiple Gold Gloves, with three times in a row between 2013-15. The only other Royals catcher to win the award was 40-year-old Bob Boone in 1989. To me, that makes Salvador Perez the clear choice as best defensive catcher in club history.
Want some more fun facts? Perez tied the club record for runners picked off base by a catcher in a single year in 1/3 of a season in 2011. Yeah, Darrell Porter threw out a higher percentage of base runners attempting to steal against him. Yet, Porter also played in an era where teams ran more aggressively and didn’t consider giving up outs as damaging as they do today.
Thus, teams are much more selective in their attempted steals.
When you consider the whole package: ability to throw out baserunners, game calling ability, handling pitchers, pitch framing, and agility behind the plate, Salvador Perez is the best in Kansas City Royals history.
What’s scary is Salvador Perez is only 26 years old. He’s under contract with the KC Royals through the 2021 season. He could very easily rack up another half-dozen or so Gold Gloves before he’s through.
Salvador Perez might be considered among the best defensive catchers of all-time before he finishes his career. Perez is that good.
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