Kansas City Royals: Is Salvador Perez a future Hall of Famer?

KC Royals, Salvador Perez (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Salvador Perez (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

A question was asked on Wednesday about Yadier Molina. After everything was concluded, it got me thinking. Is Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez on pace to be a Hall of Famer?

MLB Network host, Brian Kenny asked a question that Kansas City Royals fans should also think about. “Is Yadier Molina a future Hall of Famer?”. After one day and just over 19,500 votes, 73% of the people voted “Yes”.

After seeing this, it made me think. We always hear about how Molina and Salvador Perez are arguably the best catchers in their respected conferences. Therefore, does that mean that Perez is on pace to becoming a Hall of Famer?

I decided to go back and compare numbers and accomplishments. For logistical reasons, I only compared the first eight years of Molina’s career because Perez has only been in the league for eight years.

The numbers and accomplishment breakdown

Both Perez and Molina broke into the MLB at 21-years-old. Molina made his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004 while Perez made his debut with the Royals in 2011. Therefore, we are going to be looking at Molina’s career from 2004-2011 and Perez from 2011-2018.

During Molina’s first eight years, here is his breakdown:

  • 944 games played, .274/.331/.377 with a .707 OPS and 88 OPS+
  • 863 hits and 212 extra-base hits (154 doubles, 3 triples, 55 home runs)
  • 4 Gold Gloves, 3 All-Star Games, 2 World Series, 1 Platinum Glove
  • 44% of runners caught stealing (181 of 411 attempts), 3-Time NL leader in pickoffs

During Perez’s first eight years, here is his breakdown:

  • 884 games played, .267/.297/.437 with a .735 OPS and 97 OPS+
  • 883 hits and 301 extra-base hits (165 doubles, 10 triples, 126 home runs)
  • 4 Gold Gloves, 6 All-Star Games, 1 World Series, 1 World Series MVP, 1 Silver Slugger
  • 34% of runners caught stealing (173 of 503 attempts), 2-Time AL leader in pickoffs

What to make of this

When you look at this, Perez actually seems like the better offensive player at this point in his career. While Perez walks at a lower rate and strikes out at a higher rate than Molina, Perez’s power abilities are significantly better than Molina’s.

Defensively, they are pretty close. They have the same number of Gold Glove’s and while Perez picks off 10% less than Molina after eight years, Perez has had a similar number of pickoffs. The biggest difference for the percentages could be because of the players being more active on the basepaths in the American League (Perez has nearly 100 more attempts than Molina). Or Molina is more feared for pickoffs than Perez.

Something interesting about Salvador Perez offensively

When I went back to look where Perez ranked historically among all MLB catchers over their first eight years, I was pretty surprised to see where his offensive numbers put him.

Here were the search parameters I used in Baseball Reference Player Index.

  • Have spent 90% of their career playing catcher
  • Played at least 800 games
  • Had a batting average of at least .260
  • At least 120 doubles and 120 home runs.

The list of players who have done this was short and pretty prestigious. The only catchers to meet these criteria are Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench, Roy Campanella, Lance Parrish, Brian McCann, and Perez.

Pretty nice company for Perez offensively considering three of the four not playing baseball right now is in the Hall of Fame.

Final Thoughts

I know that being a Royals fan we usually have our own players on a higher pedestal than they really are. However, when looking at these numbers and comparisons, I don’t think we can really argue with what they are showing.

Yes, this year has been the worst year offensively for Perez. His .217/.256/.384 slash this year is horrible. But this is also coming off the worst month of his career. June saw him post a .158/.200/.253 slash. However, July seems to be a bit different. So far this month, Perez is hitting closer to average, posting a .250/.273/.375 slash. His last seven games, he has posted a more appealing .286/.290/.429 slash.

My point? Don’t focus on the overall year when thinking about Perez in this conversation.

Molina is currently in his 15th season and is 35-years-old. His time in baseball is quickly coming to an end, which is why the question is prompted. Perez still has plenty of time left in his career. But if the national media and fans of baseball are going to say that Molina is a Hall of Famer, the question has to be asked about Perez.

Next: Manny Machado's effect on the Royals

If Perez continues at the pace he has been over his career, is he a Hall of Famer? Are we so down on the year that we are missing out on watching a potential Hall of Famer on our front door? Could Perez be just the second Royals player to be inducted?

What do you think Royals fans? Is Perez playing himself into the Hall of Fame? Do we take for granted everything Perez is doing? Let us know below!