Salvador Perez returned to the Kansas City Royals lineup and played well.
It was a bummer when Salvador Perez missed the entire 2019 season due to injury because he’s been a huge part of the Kansas City Royals‘ organization since making it to the big leagues in 2011. Perez’s absence that season allowed the Royals to get a better look at younger options like Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria, but no one compares to Perez and what he can do behind the dish.
Fortunately for the Royals, Perez was able to return for the shortened 2020 season and had himself one heck of a bounce-back campaign. As a result, he made the list of seven MLB players who bounced back in a difficult season that Will Leitch of MLB.com put together.
Leitch mentioned Perez’s injury during 2019 spring training and how much of an impact it had on the Royals.
"It was a devastating blow, particularly for a catcher who had never had any extended injury problems in his career. But not only did he make it back for ’20, he returned as a far, far better hitter than he’d ever been. Did you see how Sal hit in his last 15 games? He was a monster: .371/.391/.806. He had seven homers in 15 games! (He even stole a base, which seems impossible.) The Royals are a quietly intriguing team entering ’21, and Perez, if he’s back to 100 percent and hitting like that, is a stealth MVP candidate."
Salvador Perez was one of the Kansas City Royals’ best hitters in 2020.
Perez finished the season with a slash line of .333/.353/.633 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI through 156 plate appearances. Not bad for a 30-year-old catcher who many speculated was on his last leg with the franchise.
What the Royals can take away from Perez’s stellar 2020 season is that they don’t have to worry about replacing him in 2021, as he’s still playing at a high level. Perez’s job is still safe until MJ Melendez is ready to contribute on a daily basis at the major league level. That honestly might not be until 2023, so the longer Perez can be productive at the catcher position, the better for the Kansas City Royals, who are hoping for good things in 2021.
The 2020 season was significantly shorter than that of a regular Major League Baseball season, so it’ll be interesting to see how Salvador Perez does in a full 162-game season. Will he be the same productive Perez we’ve come to know and love?