Salvador Perez named All-MLB first team catcher

Kansas City Royals
Salvador Perez_190655

Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez, right, celebrates with a teammate after a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Sunday, June 7, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals won 4-3. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNW) – Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez has been named the All-MLB First Team catcher as Major League Baseball unveiled selections for the second annual All-MLB Team, presented by CohnReznik, tonight on MLB Network. The first and second teams were selected by a combination of voting from fans and a decorated panel of media members, broadcasters, former players and other officials throughout the game. Each team honored one catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop and designated hitter, plus three outfielders, five starting pitchers and two relievers.

Perez was selected the First Team catcher over two other finalists, Atlanta’s Travis d’Arnaud and Philadelphia’s J.T. Realmuto.

Perez earned his third Louisville Silver Slugger Award earlier this offseason and is also a six-time All-Star and a five-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. In 2020, he set career highs in batting average (.333) and slugging percentage (.633) and despite playing in just 37 of 60 games, led the Royals in homers (11) and go-ahead RBI (8), while ranking second in RBI (32) and extra-base hits (23). His 11 home runs were tied for third most in Major League history by a player who appeared in 37 games or fewer, trailing only Frank Thomas (12 HR in 34 games) in 2005 (when he battled multiple injuries) and Ted Williams (13 HR in 37 games) in 1953 (when he missed most of the season after serving in the Korean War). All 11 of his home runs came as a catcher, matching Realmuto for the most in the Majors as a catcher, while Perez’s batting average (.348), slugging percentage (.681) and OPS (1.048) as a catcher were all tops in the Majors (min. 100 AB). 

He returned to the Royals after missing the entire 2019 season, undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 6, 2019. He was on the Injured List in 2020 from Aug. 21-Sept. 11 due to swelling in his left eye. From the time of his return to the end of the season, he ranked tied for second in the Majors in RBI (20), extra-base hits (13) and total bases (50), was third in slugging (.806) and tied for third in homers (7). He led the Majors in batting average (.451, 23-for-51) from Sept. 11-24.

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