Salvador Perez has made his mark on the Kansas City Royals. It is starting to be time to wonder if his career will culminate in a trek to Cooperstown.
Perez has been one of the best catchers in the game over the course of his career. He has an impressive list of accomplishments; the eight time All Star has won five Gold Glove awards and has been a Silver Slugger four times. He was a key part of the Royals’ march to the championship in 2015, winning World Series MVP honours. Naturally, he has also been one of the best players in Royals’ history, one of their top ten players in bWAR.
Salvador Perez more than just a Kansas City Royals legend?
It may be time to wonder if Perez is more than just a Royals legend. He hit his 240th career homer on Monday, tying Jorge Posada for the third most of any player who was primarily a catcher since 2000. He should pass Victor Martinez by the end of the year, setting his sights on Brian McCann at the top of the list.
Perez has been a solid contributor with the bat over his career. He has posted a career .267/.300/.461 batting line with those 240 homers and 251 doubles in his 5400 plate appearances entering Tuesday. He has been a consistent run producer and power threat, with his 105 OPS+ even better than it would seem due to his position on the diamond.
The Royals backstop also has an interesting list of similar players. Gabby Hartnett and Carlton Fisk are both in the Hall of Fame, and rank as Perez’s eighth and tenth most similar players through age 32. Buster Posey, who has an interesting Hall of Fame case himself, is sixth. Bill Freehan, fifth most similar to Perez, could find himself in the Hall one day as well as he is considered one of the biggest snubs.
Can Perez join that group as a Hall of Famer? Or, at the very least, be right on the cusp of immortality? It will depend on how he performs over the final few years of his career. If Perez can approach 2000 hits, and get closer to 350 or more homers, Cooperstown could be in his future.
Salvador Perez has had an impressive career thus far. If he finishes strongly, the Kansas City Royals catcher could be a Hall of Famer.