The awe-inspiring and record-setting offensive season by Kansas City Royals star catcher and franchise cornerstone Salvador Perez has put him in position to accomplish something that even Royals legend George Brett couldn’t.
Perez joined Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino and New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez as finalists for the American League Silver Slugger award, which MLB announced on Monday. The Silver Slugger Award winners for each position will be revealed on Nov. 11.
A virtual lock for the award after leading the majors in RBIs (121) and tying for the lead in home runs (48), Perez appears poised to win his fourth Silver Slugger Award.
He’d become the first player in franchise history to garner four such honors, his previous awards having come in 2016, 2018 and 2020.
Brett, who is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, won three Silver Sluggers, including two as a third baseman (1980, 1985) as well as one as a first baseman (1988). Brett also won three batting titles and the 1980 AL MVP award.
This season, Perez tied the Royals single-season home run record set by Jorge Soler in 2019. Perez also set a standard for offensive power production from the catcher position. His 48 homers were also a single-season record for a primary catcher (at least 75% of his games at catcher) in major-league history.
He surpassed the previous record of 45 set by Hall of Famer Johnny Bench in 1970.
By leading the majors in both home runs and RBIs, Perez became just the second primary catcher to lead in both, the other having been Bench in 1970 and 1972. Perez batted .273 and his .859 OPS was a career high for a full-length season, as was his .544 slugging percentage (10th-best in MLB).
Perez batted .273 with a .316 on-base percentage and a .544 slugging percentage this season. His slugging percentage ranked 10th among MLB qualifiers.
Perez also tied the record for the most games played in a season by a primary catcher (161), and he caught 124 (MLB-best 120 starts). He also threw out 44% of attempted base stealers this season, the highest percentage of any catcher with at least 375 innings caught.
Perez is also a finalist for the AL Hank Aaron Award as well as the Players Choice Award for the Outstanding Player the AL.