KC Royals: Salvador Perez Wins Fourth Gold Glove; Needs More Rest
By John Viril
KC Royals players Alex Gordon (LF), Eric Hosmer (1B), and Salvador Perez (C), were finalists for 2016 Gold Gloves. Only Salvador Perez took home the hardware.
Catcher Salvador Perez won his fourth straight Gold Glove on Tuesday night with the Kansas City Royals. Meanwhile, left fielder Alex Gordon lost out to New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner. Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland earned the first base Gold Glove over Eric Hosmer.
The award is Perez’s fourth straight Gold Glove which recognizes him as the best defensive catcher in the American League.
Perez is the 9th catcher to win four or more Gold Gloves since the award began in 1957. The list of four time (or more) winners:
Ivan Rodriguez (12 AL)
Johnny Bench (10 NL)
Yadier Molina (8 NL)
Bob Boone (3 NL, 5 AL)
Jim Sundberg (6 AL)
Bill Freehan (5 AL)
Del Crandall (4 NL)
Charles Johnson (4 NL)
Salvador Perez (4)
At age 26, Perez has many years to add more Gold Gloves to his collection. Perez led major league baseball with 11 Defensive Runs Saved, and Fangraphs.com’s DEF rating at 15.5. Though he ranked way down the list in pitch framing, a recent study showed that Perez’s ability in this area improved in key situations.
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General manager Dayton Moore told MLB.com reporter Jeffrey Flanagan about Perez’s fourth Gold Glove:
"“We have several players that are deserving of Gold Gloves,” Moore said. “We’re very proud of Salvador’s fourth straight Gold Glove. That’s an amazing accomplishment. We’re fortunate to have a Gold Glove catcher.”"
As outstanding as he was behind the plate, Perez’s offensive numbers crashed in the second half for the fourth straight season. After a strong .283/.315/.500 first half, Perez’s offense dropped off the face of the earth with a .201/.248/.357 after the All-Star break.
Despite hitting a career-high 22 home runs in 2016, he clearly hit a fatigue wall late in the season. Kansas City Royals fans should not have been surprised after Perez caught more innings than any catcher in baseball from 2014-2016 when you include his two long post-season runs in 2014 and 2015.
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The hardware is great, but the front office needs to find a way to get Salvador Perez more rest.