Will KC Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez have a big second half?
This is a hard one. Perez made the American League All-Star team again (for the eighth time, to be precise), leads the club in home runs with 15, and was hitting .270 three weeks ago, which isn't bad for a 33-year-old catcher at the mid-point of his 12th big league season.
But that nice .270 average is falling, a statistical decline not at all surprising considering Perez is a dismal 4-for-43 (.093) in the 12 games since he last posted that number. He's been held hitless in eight of those contests. Not once during that span has he homered; in fact, he can't boast any extra-base hit in those dozen games. His one RBI doesn't bode well, either. He's slashing .246/.289/.435, a line worse than the .254/.292/.465 he posted last season.
And the recurring vision issue that's troubled Perez in the past struck him again and required procedural intervention late last month.
It's difficult to comfortably predict, then, a significant turnaround for the Royal captain. And the Royals may have to rely less on Perez and more on Bobby Witt Jr. who, in his sophomore season, is passing Perez by as the most productive KC hitter—entering tonight's action, Witt leads the Royals in RBIs, triples, hits, and stolen bases, has homered more than any other Royal except Perez, and although it isn't as good as it someday will be, his .257/.300/.442 line is still better than Perez's.