The Royals cruised to their sixth consecutive victory last night in large part due to a triple by their 245 pound catcher, Salvador Perez. It doesn't take a genius to tell you that Salvy's presence in the lineup has a huge factor on this organization, but I was wondering just how big of an influence it has been over the last three seasons. Let's check out the numbers.
Over the past three seasons, the Royals are 78-85 when Salvador Perez makes an appearance and 77-83 (.481) when he starts the game. In that same time frame, the Royals are 172-213 good for a .447 winning percentage. Over the past three seasons, in games that Salvador Perez doesn't start, the Royals are 95-130, winning just 42 percent of their games.
When you readjust the numbers for averages over 162 games over the past three seasons, the Royals have performed like a 78 win team with Salvador in the starting lineup and a 68 win team without him. It doesn't take a Math major to realize that this is a ten win swing.
This season alone, the Royals have played like an 88 win team with him starting and a 43 win team with him out. If the Royals can keep this up and Perez can start 90 of the team's final 101 games, the Royals will finish 82-80. Obviously, this isn't the record that we all hoped for entering the season, but that would at least make it a fun summer.
The numbers say that Perez isn't that valuable, but it is close. In 163 career games, he has accumulated a 5.2 fWAR and 6.1 bWAR. There is no doubt he is one of the most important players in the organization, but with all the disappointment in Hosmer and Moustakas it seems as though Perez's success has been overlooked.
Do me a favor. Next time you hear someone complain about the Royals inability to develop superstars that hit the ground running, be sure to point to the guy wearing the Royals mask behind home plate.