Ned Yost media session: Salvador Perez

With Kansas City riding a season-long five-game winning streak going into the second game of their four-game set with the Chicago White Sox, Royals manager Ned Yost sat down and spoke about his rookie catcher, Salvador Perez.  The 21-year old, who was known for his outstanding defensive skills coming up through the minor leagues, is proving he can handle the bat as well.  He’s currently on a career-high nine-game hitting streak after going 3-for-4 in last night’s 7-2 win over Chicago, falling a home run shy of the cycle. 

Perez has hit well so far in the Majors, putting up a batting average of .318 (35-for-110) with an on-base percentage of .350.  His 110 at-bats provide a very small sample size, but Yost thinks Perez will be able to hit well throughout his career.

“He’s got a nice, compact swing.  He puts the ball in play, and he doesn’t strike out,” Yost said.  “Those are pretty key ingredients to having a productive swing.”

Even if he doesn’t continue his hot hitting, Perez’s stellar defense alone could make him one of the game’s premier catchers. 

“I think he’s got a chance to be the total package,” said Yost, himself a former big league catcher.  “He can be an All-Star-type defender, and he can swing the bat.”

“He blocks the ball as well as anybody I’ve seen.  He’s got as quick of a release as I’ve ever seen.  He’s very coordinated.  He’s very accurate, and given the opportunity, he’s going to throw out a lot of runners.”

Yost pointed out that the Royals pitching staff hasn’t been giving Perez the best opportunity to throw guys out because they are not getting the ball to the plate quick enough.  Getting the ball to the plate quicker is all about a pitcher’s delivery, and speeding up their delivery time is going to be a point of emphasis next spring, Yost mentioned. 

“If we’ve got a catcher that can throw like he can, we’ve got to have the ability to give him the opportunity to throw runners out,” Yost said.

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