The Kansas City Royals were running into a pretty bad situation. Catcher Salvador Perez was struggling. Really bad. If the Royals have one player that needed to play well, it is Perez.
We all should have known that this year was going to be an interesting one with Salvador Perez. Just before the start of the year, the Kansas City Royals broke the news that Perez hurt himself carrying his bags.
Once Perez came off the DL, he started red hot. Over the first 20 games, he was hitting .278/.306/.519 with four doubles and five home runs. Unfortuatnely, that’s where his offensive production seemed to stop.
From May 14th-June 30th he hit an abysmal .179/.227/.290 with three doubles and five home runs. The worst part was the fact that he struck out 35 times compared to five walks. While June was the worst month of his career, hitting .158/.200/.253, his struggles went on for much longer. During that time, Perez saw his season stats drop to .212/.253/.386 with little hope in sight.
Luckily July is a new month
Perez came out and said that he was pressing at the plate. He felt like he needed to be doing more so that he could help turn the Royal season around. After he said that, it seemed to click for him that he didn’t need to be the savor this year.
During the month of July, Perez has been hitting .307/.337/.591 with four doubles and seven home runs. This has caused his batting average to jump to .237/.276/.441 on the season. While that is still below his career average, it is significantly better than where he was.
Perez seems to have settled down at the plate, which is bringing back his power and his ability to get on base. The Royals do need for Perez to be productive at the plate. If he isn’t, then the Royals really don’t have a power hitter in their lineup anymore.
As for Perez playing himself into a trade during the Winter Meetings, I still don’t see that happening. The Royals flirted with the idea of him at first base, and it was not very pretty. Perez seems like a player who is either a catcher or a designated hitter.
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Perez is also looking to have his contract end when MJ Melendez is supposed to make the jump. If the Royals truly believe that Melendez is the future at the position, having someone like Perez as the team’s catcher until then is a great option.
I believe that Perez has regained control of his season. He started spinning out of control when he felt he had to be THE guy in Kansas City. Now that he’s found himself again he is starting to hit better. As long as he continues his current trend, he will finish the year with his career norms and look like arguably the best catcher in the American League again.
With that being said, here is to hoping August and September look more like July than May and June for Perez.