Big batting marks within reach for KC Royals catcher Salvador Perez

Kansas City's backstop can hit some nice offensive goals in 2024.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Spring training for the KC Royals begins February 13, when pitchers and catchers report to the club's Surprise, Arizona camp. Conspicuous among that group will be veteran backstop Salvador Perez, who'll be preparing for his 13th major league season.

Although his peripherals have dipped some recently, Perez, named team captain last Opening Day, remains the rock-solid ringleader of what is now, after the series of offseason roster-improving moves general manager J.J. Picollo has engineered this winter, a potentially up and coming team that could surprise some folks in 2024. And if the Royals do improve significantly, it's a sure bet Perez will have played a major role in the resurgence.

But even if Picollo's roster additions don't pay big dividends, count on Perez reaching some important individual career offensive milestones this coming season. As scrutiny of his 12-season stats reveals, several are within his grasp.

Salvador Perez will reach two batting marks quite quickly

Two of the milestones Perez is homing in on should be his shortly after the season begins March 28 with a home game against Minnesota. He might, in fact, reach one in that first contest — with 598 runs scored over 12 seasons, being driven in twice against the Twins will give him 600.

His other readily attainable number is 250 home runs. Perez, who's homered 23 times in each of the past two seasons, needs only four for 250, which means he could get there before April turns to May. He clubbed a franchise record 48 homers in 2021, the same stellar personal season in which those 48 round-trippers tied Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the big league lead and he also led the majors with 121 RBI.

And speaking of Salvador Perez and RBI...

Unattainable for Perez in 2024 is the goal of 1,000 RBI — he needs to drive in 188 more runs to hit that mark, and that just wont happen.

Getting to 900, though, is possible, but not probable; 88 will get him there, but Perez has knocked in that many just once (those 121 in 2021), and only three other times has he driven in at least 80. He averages just under 68 RBI per season.

Will Salvador Perez get his 1,500th hit for the KC Royals in 2024?

Barring an injury that deprives him of significant playing time, Perez is a shoo-in to reach 1,500 hits next season. He'll enter the campaign with 1,411, so his 89th hit of the year will net him his 1,500th. Perez has failed to hit safely 89 times in only three seasons: he had 49 during his 39-game first year (2011), 87 in the following campaign when he played in only 76 games, and 50 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Plate appearances and at-bats for Salvador Perez

With 389 at-bats, Perez will reach 6000 for his career. That's certainly doable, especially considering he averages almost 441 per season.

Reaching 6000 plate appearances is a much different matter. He needs 710, a number he in all probability won't get next season; although 11 big leaguers exceeded 700 at-bats in 2023, Perez has broken the 600 mark only twice, and fell 35 short of 700 in 2021, a season in which he played a career-high 161 games.

How many of these marks will Perez reach? How well he plays and how healthy he stays will tell that tale.

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