Heading into the 2012 fantasy baseball season Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez was supposedly going to be a great sleeper, but an untimely knee injury caused him to get surgery in Spring Training and miss the entire first half of the season.
Perez is now completely healthy heading into the 2013 season and is finally ready to have a huge fantasy season. The 22-year-old backstop did show some great pop in his injury riddled rookie campaign, so there is certainly promise with his bat. Perez hit 11 home runs in just 76 games in the majors and knocked in a gaudy 39 runs.
The righty also hit .301 in his first extended season, which may draw some criticism because of the fact that it was under 80 games, but he was still able rack up 87 hits in 76 MLB games.
Perez may not have drawn many walks or stole many bases, but his pure hitting numbers will warrant a starting position in any fantasy format this summer. He is also still maturing as a hitter, so drawing walks and learning plate discipline are things that he will develop over his career.
Due to the increased strain that squatting down in the catching stance puts on catcher’s body; there are not many offensive catchers anymore. However, Perez is a catcher that can catch and hit on a daily basis, so the fact that he is young will only help him play more games than the aging veterans that need occasional days off in the middle of the week. After all, in fantasy it is better to have a youngster that plays everyday, than a veteran that can’t play day games, because he just played a night game.
Perez is a low-end starter for now, but he could easily finish the 2013 season with over 25 home runs. He is one of the best sleepers at the position this year; mostly due to the fact that nobody really knows who he is. Many people will be distracted by the big names of Yadier Molina, Russell Martin, or A. J. Pierzynski; but don’t count out this young kid from Venezuela. He has superstar potential.
Perez should still be on the board towards the end of the draft, so do not be afraid to grab him as a starter in the latter rounds. He will be a great young addition to any lineup and will be a very popular pick in dynasty leagues this year.
2013 Fantasy Baseball Prediction: .289 Avg., 26 HRs, 30 2Bs, 93 RBI, 10 SBs