KC Royals: 3 overperformers through the midpoint

(Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals, Salvador Perez
(Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The 2021 season has been rough for the KC Royals with some unfortunately underwhelming performances by a few key players. Although it’s fairly easy to point out Kansas City’s underperformers through the All-Star Game, baseball’s traditional season midpoint, there are some overperformers, too.

Here are three top Royal overperformers—players who’ve played at least a bit better than expected—so far.

Catcher Salvador Perez is giving the KC Royals a fantastic All-Star season.

Salvador Perez may be on track for his best season ever and has been a major bright spot for Kansas City this year. The 2015 World Series Most Valuable Player is slashing .275/.300/.501 with an .802 OPS and .325 BABIP so far. He has 37 extra base hits, 53 RBIs, and 21 home runs.

His defense has also been superb—Perez boasts an excellent .997 fielding percentage (slightly better than his career .995) behind the plate. He has 35 assists and has caught nine players stealing, giving him a 34.6 caught-stealing percentage, which is the best in the American League and fourth-best in the majors.

Perez’s 21 home runs helped him into the Home Run Derby for the first time, where he mashed 28 homers in the first round but lost to eventual contest winner Pete Alonso of the Mets. Those 28 homers are the most hit by a catcher in Derby history and tied the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and former Texas, Cincinnati, and Angel slugger Josh Hamilton for fifth all-time in most homers hit in a single round.

Perez also played in his seventh All-Star Game Tuesday. And if he keeps up his play through the second half of the season, he could win a sixth Gold Glove and even a fourth Silver Slugger.