Why Salvador Pérez is the most underrated MLB player today
Kansas City Royals star Salvador Pérez does not get the same coverage as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Shohei Ohtani. Pérez is the most underrated player in the MLB today despite his efforts for the Royals. He just set the record for the most home runs for a catcher with 46.
Pérez hit his 46th homer of the season in the Royals’ 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. With most fans looking at the debate between Vlad and Ohtani, they have not noticed what Pérez is doing with Kansas City. With his 46th homer of the season, he is now tied with Vlad for the major league lead and he leads the MLB with 115 RBIs.
Pérez is the first catcher with this many RBIs since Mike Piazza in 1999. It has been a long road for Pérez because he was always the chaser for the home run title for the entire 2021 season. He was behind Ohtani for a long time but since the Japanese star had dipped slightly, Pérez and Vlad took over the race.
Perez is consistently excellent for the Royals
At 31 years of age, Pérez is an accomplished veteran. He already has a World Series MVP under his belt dating back to the 2015 season when he led the Royals to a title. He fell out of the spotlight in 2019 when he suffered a major elbow injury which led him to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Throughout that season, stars started to dominate the scene and Pérez was forgotten as the main man for the Royals. Fans were convinced that he would struggle in his return to the league but he quickly proved the doubters wrong by having a stellar 2020 season. Even if he won the Comeback Player of the Year award, Pérez was still an under the radar name.
2021 has been no different because he has been one of the best players in the league but he is overshadowed by the double-threat of Ohtani and Vlad Jr.’s fresh star power. The Royals have not been a great team since they won the World Series back in 2015 but Pérez has remained consistent throughout his decade-long stint.
Pérez deserves to be in the MVP conversation
Pérez’s efforts have gone unnoticed in the 2021 season. He is a special player who has proven he can be the star player in any situation. He stayed loyal to the Royals system and vice versa. Even if they are struggling, fans and pundits need to recognize Pérez’s excellence.
Even Indians interim head coach DeMarlo Hale was in awe of Pérez during their match. The coach said, ‘Perez is one of those rare individuals to find energy and passion just to keep playing. And the offensive year he's having it's even more special. People don't talk about him in the MVP race, but I'll tell you what, he's there in my book’.
It also helps that Pérez is not only a stellar batter but he’s also a solid name in the catcher role. He’s not the double-threat like Ohtani but Pérez is versatile enough to garner attention from a large chunk of the fan base. The Royals fans love Pérez but the passionate support has not translated to other cities in the country.
The MLB is filled with talented players and Pérez should be recognized as one of the top stars the major league has to offer. This season might be the key with his lead in the top stats.
Words: Cholo Martin