Salvador Perez was the fourth KC Royals player in history to make the Home Run Derby and Monday night joined the ranks of Bo Jackson, Danny Tartabull, and Mike Moustakas in competing in the tournament. He also continued the Kansas City trend of getting knocked out in the first round, but it wasn’t without an excellent effort.
Perez, the No.4 seed, faced off against the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, the No.5 seed and the reigning Derby champion. (He won it in 2019 but the event wasn’t held last season). Alonso began the round smashing home run after home run. He hit 25 homers in regulation time, then notched an extra 10 for a Derby first-round record total of 35 by the end of bonus time.
Perez, who’ll also start at catcher for the American League in tonight’s All-Star Game, had his work cut out for him. He clubbed 17 home runs, and though he needed 18 to catch Alonso, he managed to add 12 more in bonus time for a total of 28. Those 28 homers tied the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani for third most in the first round, but neither slugger advanced to the second round.
Alonso eventually won the contest, hitting a total of 74 homers with 23 coming in the final round to beat out the Orioles’ Trey Mancini’s 22.
Despite this, Salvy still put on a record-setting, grand showing of sheer power:
Salvador Perez set a few marks as a Derby participant for the KC Royals.
Perez not only set marks for the Royals, but also as a Derby participant. His 28 home runs were the most hit by a catcher in the contest’s history. He (and Ohtani) are now tied with Texas’ Josh Hamilton for the fifth most homers hit in a single round in Derby history.
And according to mlb.com, Perez’s longest homer travelled a distance of 491 feet, and his hardest hit one came off the bat at 112 mph. His total home run distance capped off at 2.36 miles.
Moreover, Perez managed to hit the most home runs in the Derby by a KC Royal. Jackson and Tartabull each had one apiece, and Moustakas had 10 back in 2017.
Although ESPN busied itself conducting an interview with Alonso while Perez was hitting, his accomplishments will definitely not be swept under the rug, and were quickly recognized by Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes:
The KC Royals’ Salvador Perez was clearly honored by his Home Run Derby nod.
Perez was obviously honored to participate in the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby, so much so that he commemorated the moment by showing off some new ink on his arm:
The Royals catcher also customized five of his bats to represent his ballclub. The bats were painted powder blue with a golden crown printed on the barrel.
No doubt, these bats helped propel Salvy to set some great marks that will not be forgotten by Kansas City fans.
Although he was eliminated in the first round of the 2021 Home Run Derby, Salvador Perez put up some remarkable tournament numbers for the KC Royals.