Kansas City Royals superstar catcher Salvador Perez’s peers have weighed in on his outstanding season and how it compares to the performances of Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani and Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The results will be revealed next week.
Perez, who enjoyed the most productive season of his major-league career, has been voted a finalist for the Outstanding Player Award in the American League by the members of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Guerrero Jr. and Ohtani were the other finalists.
The winners of the Players Choice Awards presented by MLB The Show will be announced on ESPN at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28.
These are the finalists for the Players Choice Awards AL Outstanding Player!
MLB Players voted and the top three vote recipients are Vlad Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani and Salvador Perez (@SalvadorPerez15).
Some of the best bats and gloves in 2021 #PCA21 pic.twitter.com/6zGVdpbNlX
— MLBPA (@MLBPA) October 21, 2021
Guerrero and Ohtani also joined Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper as finalists for the Player of the Year award.
Perez and Guerrero tied for the major-league lead with 48 home runs. Perez led the majors with 121 runs batted in, four more than the Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
Perez tied the Royals single-season home run record set by Jorge Soler in 2019, and Perez’s 48 homers were also a single-season record for a primary catcher (at least 75% of his games at catcher) in major-league history. He surpassed the previous record of 45 set by Hall of Famer Johnny Bench in 1970.
By leading the majors in both home runs and RBIs, Perez became just the second primary catcher to lead in both, the other having been Bench in 1970 and 1972.
Perez batted .273 and his .859 OPS was a career high for a full-length season, as was his .544 slugging percentage (10th-best in MLB).
Perez also tied the record for the most games played in a season by a primary catcher. He played 161 games and caught 124 (MLB-best 120 starts). He also threw out 44% of attempted base stealers this season, the highest percentage of any catcher with at least 375 innings caught.
MLB Players Choice Awards finalists
Player of the Year
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bryce Harper, Shohei Ohtani
Outstanding Player Award
American League: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Salvador Perez
National League: Bryce Harper, Austin Riley, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr.
Outstanding Pitcher Award
American League: Gerrit Cole, Lance Lynn, Robbie Ray
National League: Corbin Burnes, Max Scherzer, Zack Wheeler
Outstanding Rookie Award
American League: Randy Arozarena, Adolis García, Ryan Mountcastle
National League: Dylan Carlson, Jonathan India, Patrick Wisdom
Comeback Player Award
American League: Mitch Haniger, Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins
National League: Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, Joey Votto
Marvin Miller Man of the Year
Andrew Miller, Max Scherzer, Marcus Semien