MLB players pick Royals’ Salvador Perez as finalist for AL Outstanding Player award

·2 min read

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.

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

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