KC Royals: Who are the club’s top Gold Glove candidates?

(Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Salvador Perez
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The Gold Glove, a coveted award bestowed since 1957 to players deemed to be the best at their positions, is something fans of the KC Royals should be quite familiar with. Many Royals have dominated Golf Glove nominations over the years, the two most notable being second baseman Frank White and left fielder Alex Gordon, both of whom are tied for the team lead with eight Gold Gloves apiece. Current KC catcher Salvador Perez is closing in on them with five.

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Now, with little more than a month left in the 2021 season, there have been many ups and downs for this KC Royals team. Through it all, some players who haven’t quite shined at the plate have made up for it on the field, making spectacular catches and throws.

But which Royals are most worthy of the prestigious Gold Glove award? Let’s find out who the club’s top candidates are.

(ESPN was the source for players’ comparative position and DWAR statistics, and BaseballSavant the source for OAA, OAA percentile rankings, jump and defensive success rate statistics, for this story).

The KC Royals should never count out Salvador Perez as a Gold Glove winner.

Think of great contemporary catchers, and Salvador Perez should be atop the list with Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, and a few others.

Perez has had a fantastic 2021, probably his best ever. He’s slashing .277/.315/.544 with an .859 OPS, 94 RBIS and 38 home runs, including the two grand slams he hit in the recent Seattle series. But for all of the talk about his bat, Perez deserves the same praise for his defense.

His .998 fielding percentage ranks third in all the majors and second in the American League. He’s recorded 837 putouts while only committing two errors. His 40.6% caught stealing rate leads the American League and is second in the majors only to Molina’s 41.5%.

Perez is also tied with the Cubs’ Wilson Contreras for the major league lead with 52 assists. He’s turned the most double plays at his position with 10, and has a 1.0 DWAR.

Perez has already won five Gold Gloves in his career, his most recent one having come in 2018 (he missed the entire 2019 season with an injury and played 34 games as catcher in 2020). What a better way to cap off his great 2021 season than with Gold Glove No. 6?