Friday, April 26, 2024

Turn it On, Salvador


It's wild to me that Salvador Perez's career has been almost a two act process, where the first 8 years consists of some of the most consistent defensive catching, and the next 4+ includes some unbelievable power hitting. It's like Yadier Molina walked through a portal and became Mike Piazza. And the thing is, Salvador Perez's defense has gone down since his elbow injury, but he's still an above average defensive catcher. He's still back there more often than not, and considering that Freddy Fermin was SUPPOSED to take over and isn't having the season the Royals fans thought, it's nice that Perez is still a serviceable option.

So far, Perez is off to another wild start, as he's currently hitting .352 with a league leading 25 RBIs, plus 7 home runs. It is an insane offensive start, with enough contact hitting to round out the power numbers, and enough solid defensive moments to rationalize him still being back there at 34. I used to think that by the time the next wave of Royals superstars came around, Perez would have bowed out, but him being used as the veteran centerpiece of this team, much like Buster Posey for the 2021 Giants, is a cool outcome that I like. He's still really good, he can still hit, and he's still a very valuable member of this current Royals team, even ten seasons removed from winning his ring.

And that's the other wild thing about Salvador Perez. There aren't very many other members of the 2015 Royals who are still on a major league roster. It is literally just Salvy and Johnny Cueto, as Mike Moustakas did not make the White Sox's Opening Day roster, which...considering the start their off to, seems like a good decision. And Cueto's deal with Texas is very much a 'let's see if he still has anything left' deal, and that's an alternative to legging Jack Leiter out there apparently. So it's really just Perez left, and the fact that Perez is still an integral part of this Royals team...that says a lot about his overall value as a player. I think the Royals fans are gonna feel it whenever he ends up packing it up, more than they felt it when Alex Gordon retired. 

Perez is just one of many Royals who are over performing this April, and making their team a contender for first even this early on. Bobby Witt has fully come into his own, and has ascended to full throttle, hitting .308 with 7 steals already. Vinnie Pasquantino is back and power hitting like no time has passed. Seth Lugo, Brady Singer and Cole Ragans are all proving themselves to be extremely reliable starters, and though Alec Marsh's injury could be worrying, the idea is that Daniel Lynch won't be much of a drop-off. This team is doing so much right, and chasing even the greats. I'd love for them to keep it going, and for Perez to see the playoffs as a Royal again.

Coming Tomorrow- After an incredible start to his career last year, he gets to pitch for an even better version of that team.

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