If you got into football a little early (shame on you) and stopped paying attention to baseball, you probably missed out on what Salvador Perez did. He got 158 plate appearances for the Royals down the stretch and hit .331/.361/.473 with three HRs.
Of course that is a slightly limited sample, he had a .362 BABIP and won’t be 22 until May – all red flags.
So, why do I, Albert Lang, like him? Well, he had tremendous success in the minors last season: .290/.331/.437 across AA and AAA. He is also a contact machine that doesn’t strike out a ton, which is fine if you hit the ball well (hello, BABIP). Perez had a 29.2% line drive and 41.5% ground ball rate last year. He hit few fly balls and even fewer (7.9%) left the park. He also wasn’t blown away at the plate: 8% swinging strike rate.
Even if the BABIP comes back to hover around .300, he should bat .290. In addition, he should smack 8 – 12 HRs, score 50 runs and knock in 60. You know what Yadier Molina will do? He’ll bat .280 with 10-15 HRs, 50 runs and 65 RBIs. Molina is safer, but where’s the fun/value in that, you ninny?
According to Mock Draft Central, Molina is the 179th player and 10th catcher off the board. Perez is the 347th player and 26th catcher off the board. According to Fleaflicker, he’s ranked 352nd overall. All and all, I’d much rather have Perez at that price.
Mostly, I’m just trying to be a company man and reinforce the reasoning behind Grey’s ranking of Perez over Molina.