Royals Report: 5 Things About NYC Bounce-Back
By John Viril
1.) SALVADOR PEREZ’S PATIENCE PAYS OFF
Salvador Perez is by no means a “patient” hitter in any normal sense of the word. However, he is taking more walks than last season, already compiling almost half as many free-passes as he did in all of 2015.
Yes, it’s only six walks in 116 at bats, but Perez IS making pitchers throw more strikes.
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Perez’s problem has always been that he’s allowed pitchers to get him to reach for pitches out of his happy zone. As a result, Perez became a 240 pound Punch-and-Judy hitter early in his career. This from a guy that has opposite field power if he gets a pitch in his wheelhouse.
Thus, Perez’s adjusted OBP+ has steadily fallen as pitchers recognized his lack of plate discipline. However, in the last few seasons Perez’s home run totals have increased.
Last season, Salvador Perez set a record for home runs by a KC Royals catcher with 21. He’s on pace to break that mark with five dingers in the Kansas City Royals first 33 games.
In short, Perez is becoming the slugger his natural talent suggests he should be. As Salvador Perez evolves into a hitter that fits his body type, expect his production to keep increasing until he’s an almost ideal no. 7 hitter.
That’s actually pretty good for a catcher with his defense. If Perez can consistently hit 25-30 home runs, he’s a superstar.
Next: Lorenzo Cain