Even if the Kansas City Royals fall short in their quest to win the American League Central championship, one fact can be taken away from this season.
This is the year Salvador Perez became a known catcher all across baseball.
Before this season, and maybe you can argue part of last year, Perez was a well-kept secret. He was a solid catcher, but opposing teams didn’t peg Perez as the type of catcher to keep his team in the middle of a pennant race.
With three hits, including a home run, in Monday’s 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers, Perez has planted himself as one of the solid stars of the squad. He is to the Royals what Yadier Molina is to the St. Louis Cardinals on the other side of the state.
In other words, he is the glue that holds the pitching staff together.
This is already Perez’s strongest season in terms of power. It is possible Perez could hit 20 home runs this season and finish with 150 hits or better, which would be high marks for his career.
Not bad for a catcher who is only in his fourth year in the major leagues. And he smells nice, too.
Don’t take that from personal experience. Perez was recently quoted as saying he wears women’s perfume. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, there’s nothing to the story aside from the fact his gear gets a little rank and sweaty when he’s behind the plate and this makes it smell better. Teammate Alcides Escobar turned Perez on to the idea.
Perez may give off a fragrant scent, but he frustrates opposing baserunners with a sharp throwing arm. He has thrown out 19 runners in 63 steal attempts. So it isn’t just his bat that has people talking.
Perez was one of the best-kept secrets in baseball. Now that the Royals are sticking around into September, the secret might be out.