Ned Yost media session: July 12, 2014

On an evening when the gates at Kauffman Stadium are loaded with 10,000 Salvador Perez bobbleheads, it’s even tougher than usual to ignore the All-Star catcher’s impact on the Royals organization, both present and future. Manager Ned Yost reiterated the importance of his backstop with regard to the ultimate success of the club earlier today.

“We built this team around Salvy and Hoz and Moose and Alex Gordon and Billy Butler,” said Yost. “He’s a big part of it. He’s a kid that has incredible talent both offensively and defensively and he’s one of the big keys to our team.”

According to Yost, Perez stood out to him from the very day he joined the Royals organization (Perez was in Class A at the time).

“The minute I saw him, I knew he was going to be a great player,” said Yost. “He had so many intangible skills. He was very smart, he had a great personality, he had great life, he had great energy. He’s extremely athletic for a big guy. The bottom half, defensively, in terms of throwing, works extremely well with the top half. He can block balls. He’s strong, and he can swing the bat. You look at him and you go through your career as a coach, and when you see a guy like Salvador, you realize it immediately.

“The only other guy I ever saw that I can compare him to was Javy Lopez in Atlanta. As soon as you saw Javy you though, man this guy is going to be a great player. He’s just special. They stick out.”

“Big Game” James Shields will take the mound for the Royals tonight, as the club looks to snap a five-game home losing streak to Detroit. In spite of the circumstances, Yost said the team will treat this game just as it treats every game.

“People want to put a lot more importance on a game like today, but we look at every game the same way,” said Yost. “Every game is important. Every game is big. It’s definitely a huge start. But last night was a huge game, the night before that was a huge game, tomorrow’s going to be a huge game. We don’t assign importance to any game. They’re all big, man. And if you don’t have that mindset, you’re in trouble.”

By Kolby Paxton

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