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Monday, September 20, 2021

Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez breaks Johnny Bench’s catcher record with 46th HR

Salvador Perez hit his 46th home run Monday, breaking Johnny Bench’s record for homers by a catcher in a season, as the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2.

Perez, 31, hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, topping Bench’s total from 1970 for the most by a player who played at least 75% of his team’s games at catcher.

“It was unbelievable,’’ he said. “I thank God for this. It’s amazing.’‘

Perez also moved into a tie for the major league lead in homers with Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and leads the majors with 115 RBIs, the first catcher with that many RBIs since Mike Piazza in 1999.

It has been a long road for Perez this season to put himself in contention for the home run title. He trailed Shohei Ohtani—the home run leader at the time—by 12 at the All-Star break and made up the distance by hitting 25 homers since July 24.

Only Jimmie Foxx in 1935 has won the home run title after trailing the leader by at least 12 dingers at the All-Star break, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2021 at 09:32 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: salvador perez

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 20, 2021 at 10:40 PM (#6040623)
Salvador Perez has 46 HRs?? I have really not been paying attention to leaderboards.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: September 20, 2021 at 10:49 PM (#6040624)
At the end of May 1998, Mac had 27 HRs to Sosa's 13. At the end of June it was 37-33. Looks like Sammy didn't tie it up until Aug 10th though.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6040626)
Belle only trailed by seven or so at the break in 1995, but he did end up leading all of baseball by 10.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6040627)
Perez, 31, hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, topping Bench’s total from 1970 for the most by a player who played at least 75% of his team’s games at catcher.


this reads like something from before RetroSheet and/or BB-Ref were invented.

not that I am particularly intrigued by this record, but what is it for homers hit as a catcher?

and if this isn't it - then why I am reading about it?
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2021 at 10:58 PM (#6040628)
Javy Lopez owns the "official" record for HR hit as a catcher with 42.

Salvy has the record for most HR by a guy that mostly played catcher, which isn't an "official" record but still pretty impressive and neat. He's tied for the AL lead! But only 31 of his HR have come while he was at catcher.

Salvy has 25 HR since the All-Star break, five more than anyone else.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 20, 2021 at 11:31 PM (#6040629)
Like Juan Soto, Salvy must have gotten his swing straightened out by competing in the Home Run Derby.

It's funny how that meme only comes up when someone falls apart after the derby.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: September 21, 2021 at 12:40 AM (#6040631)
Salvy has the record for most HR by a guy that mostly played catcher, which isn't an "official" record but still pretty impressive and neat. He's tied for the AL lead! But only 31 of his HR have come while he was at catcher.

honestly, it's a lot of HR.

but I don't see any record broken here at all. the whole thing is a bit weird.

the funniest part is this:

"topping Bench’s total from 1970 for the most by a player who played at least 75% of his team’s games at catcher."

yes, as if this goal-post move was invented in, like, 1893, and it has been an iconic and hallowed record ever since. 75%.

will Perez have to avoid DHing or not catching down the stretch in order to preserve this sacred mark?

lol

can't we just say he hit a #### ton of HR and a lot of them were as a catcher? that sounds impressive to me.
   8. baxter Posted: September 21, 2021 at 01:01 AM (#6040632)
I know it all blends in, but didn't Todd Hundley have the record for a while (was it Campanella who had the record for homers as a c)? I remember that; then Javy Lopez broke it? How many does Sal Perez have as a catcher this year (I couldn't believe he was so high on the leader board, wow)?
   9. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:28 AM (#6040636)
yes, as if this goal-post move was invented in, like, 1893, and it has been an iconic and hallowed record ever since. 75%.

This is looking at things backward actually. Until "splits" were kept, nobody asked the question as "in games in which they played catcher." A "catcher" was a "catcher" whether he played 20 games at 1B or not (and of course mostly pre-DH) and so the record was most HRs by a catcher and it would have been Bench's and it would have been the record that Perez just broke. I don't recall anybody caring that Bench started 130 at C and 22 at other positions and I'm not sure we even knew how many he hit where. If you asked me before this who held the record for most HRs by a C in a season, I'd have said Bench.

For the record, as a LF that year, Bench hit 455/486/970 with 5 HR in 35 PA; as a RF he hit 483/500/724 but with just 1 HR in 30 PA; only 1 HR in 24 PA at 1B.
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 07:02 AM (#6040639)
I know it all blends in, but didn't Todd Hundley have the record for a while (was it Campanella who had the record for homers as a c)? I remember that; then Javy Lopez broke it?

Yes, Campanella had the record with 40, then Hundley broke it with 41, and then Javy Lopez broke it again with 42. Piazza had a couple of seasons with 40 as well.

For what it’s worth, the season that Bench hit 45, only 38 came as a catcher.
   11. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 21, 2021 at 07:40 AM (#6040641)
When Bench broke Berra's all-time HR record for catchers, Yogi (allegedly) sent Johnny a telegram: "Congratulations on breaking my record. I always knew that my record would stand until it was broken."
   12. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 21, 2021 at 08:24 AM (#6040649)
I know this is going to surprise everybody, but as of now, Perez has appeared as a catcher in 118 out of 150 games in which he's played, or 78.7%.

The years Bench hit all the HRs (1970 and 1972):

1970 = 139 out of 158, or 88.0%
1972 = 129 out of 147, or 87.8%

A few other points:
1) It's too bad this 75% caveat is so prominently added to the accomplishment, because noting the self-selective nature of it acts to diminish Perez's accomplishment. What he's doing in 2021 is impressive - period, end of sentence, no qualifiers needed.

2) Perez is such an odd player.He has 198 HRs in his career, and only 160 walks. In 2020 (I know it is a SSS), but he hit .333 with a ton of power (.633 SLG), and in 156 PAs, walked...3 times (and struck out 36, a 12:1 K/BB ratio). The last time he had more walks than home runs was 2014.

Among players who have more HRs than walks in their career, who has the most HRs? Perez has to be high up on that list.

Among players with, say, 1000+ games played, who has the worst K/BB ratio? Perez is at 793/160, or 4.96/1.
Among players with, say, 1000+ games played, who has the lowest walk rate? Perez walks in 3.54% of his PAs.
   13. Rally Posted: September 21, 2021 at 08:32 AM (#6040651)
He’s got:

31 Hr in 451 ab as a c
15 in 128 ab as a dh

He’s played in 150 of the Royals’ 151 games so far. That is impressive. Sure, DH is a lot easier than catcher for wear and tear, but most catchers need a full day here and there. Joe Mauer was the last catcher whose bat was so good you had to keep him in the lineup, but while he was doing any catching his career high in games was 147, with only half of those games at catcher.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2021 at 08:56 AM (#6040654)

He’s played in 150 of the Royals’ 151 games so far. That is impressive. Sure, DH is a lot easier than catcher for wear and tear, but most catchers need a full day here and there.


Salvy caught 137-146-139 games in consecutive seasons. Not quite Kendallian (either in games played or psychosis), but still a pretty good workhorse.

   15. DL from MN Posted: September 21, 2021 at 08:58 AM (#6040655)
When Bench broke Berra's all-time HR record for catchers, Yogi (allegedly) sent Johnny a telegram: "Congratulations on breaking my record. I always knew that my record would stand until it was broken."


It's really too bad Yogi Berra was never on Twitter.
   16. Russ Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:36 AM (#6040665)
Not quite Kendallian (either in games played or psychosis),


Jason Kendall remains my favourite player of all time and also he was completely mad, which I think is what made me like him so much (in addition to sharing a birthday. Funny story, Sir Gift Basket and Kendall were born on the same day, I just happened to be born one year later). There was something intoxicating about the way that Kendall played with reckless abandon; which, of course, probably shortened his career, but he was still awesome to watch.
   17. bunyon Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:36 AM (#6040666)
It's a weird record, but I'm thrilled for him and KC. I really thought it was a terrible contract (and it may well be down the road) and I'm very happy to see him play so well.
   18. Jack Sommers Posted: September 21, 2021 at 10:04 AM (#6040673)
Among players who have more HRs than walks in their career, who has the most HRs? Perez has to be high up on that list.


He is far and away atop that list with 198 HR vs 160 walks. Jonathan Schoop 161/160 is the only other player over 100 HR. Todd Greene 71/67 is 3rd

HR>Walks, minimum 10 career HR


Among players with, say, 1000+ games played, who has the worst K/BB ratio? Perez is at 793/160, or 4.96/1.
Among players with, say, 1000+ games played, who has the lowest walk rate? Perez walks in 3.54% of his PAs.


I used 4000 PA Since 1920

Perez has the lowest BB/K ratio , .020, decimal points lower than Shawon Dunston

BB/K ratio



Perez has 7th lowest walk rate Jesus Alou lowest at 3%
Lowesst Walk Rate Report





   19. John DiFool2 Posted: September 21, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6040683)
Interesting to see usage patterns of the top catchers on their off days. Bench was notable as indicated above for playing other positions when not catching. Ted Simmons played a lot of 1B, as has Buster Posey. Gary Carter played a lot in the OF early in his career, not so much as he got older. Mike Piazza however only DH'ed a few times when the Mets were in an AL park, only playing 1B very rarely; Carlton Fisk also got a handful of DH starts even tho he was in the AL, tho he caught less as he got older. Joe Mauer tho DH'ed quite a bit on his off-days before he switched to 1B.
   20. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2021 at 11:30 AM (#6040686)
Salvador Perez has the most home runs hit in a single season by a player that played catcher that season.

There is no need to use "75%" or any other measurement than "played catcher".

One game, 10 games, 50 games, it doesn't matter, he holds the record.

   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6040687)
Bench hit 30 of his 45 HR at home. Salvy has hit 25 of his 46 HR at home, which is a bit surprising considering Kauffman is more difficult to hit HR in. Seems like Salvy has hit few wall-scrapers, he is really destroying the ball when he gets a hold of it.
   22. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 21, 2021 at 11:44 AM (#6040689)
Salvador Perez, even if he doesn't walk at all, is a fun player to watch, a good-if-not-great defensive catcher, by all accounts an excellent teammate, a player that seems to have a lot of fun playing the game - and he is enjoying quite a mid (late?)-career resurgence these past few years, after having looked to have started a steep decline at age 28. I wonder if having 2019 off because of an elbow injury allowed him to re-charge, in a somewhat similar manner to Buster Posey, also experiencing a resurgence this year.
   23. kubiwan Posted: September 21, 2021 at 12:09 PM (#6040697)
There was something intoxicating about the way that Kendall played with reckless abandon; which, of course, probably shortened his career


Even with Yadi passing him, he is still # 6 all-time in games as a catcher (and #5 in innings); how long of a career do you think he should have had?
   24. Ron J Posted: September 21, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6040702)
#23 Well the thing is Kendall lasted a fair while after he wasn't Kendall. Over his last 833 games he put up an OPS+ of 75.

Of course there's nothing at all unusual about a catcher burning out. He was worked hard for years and might not have had much to offer even without the injury that left him no longer a top player. We just don't know.
   25. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 21, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6040704)
Thank you, Jack Sommers, for answering all my questions in #18. Perez really is an outlier in the history of baseball. I definitely agree with #27 that taking all of 2019 off due to injury, and then having a lot of 2020 off due to COVID-shortened season, has almost certainly reinvigorated his career in 2021.

When you look at the lists produced by Jack in #18, there are a few things that stand out:
1) Any list of players based on high strikeout totals (including K/BB ratios) is going to skew big-time towards recent history, because of the explosion of strikeouts.
2) That said, a lot of the players on the low-walk list are 1970s and 1980s middle infielders (Doug Flynn, Damaso Garcia, etc.) whose stats generally looked like they were using a wiffle bat at the plate.
3) A guy who is unique like Perez in terms of no walks, tons of strikeouts, played a lot, was Shawon Dunston. I mean, at least Perez is a catcher who hits a lot of HRs and has won some Gold Gloves. Dunston (who I remembered as better than he actually was), made two All-Star teams, but was pretty awful in both seasons, no Gold Gloves, and had a 1000/203 K/BB ratio (that's why he shows up on these lists with Perez. I guess I remembered him a slick glove - was he a good SS, but had the misfortune of being in the NL when Ozzie Smith was playing - or was he not that good defensively?
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2021 at 01:09 PM (#6040707)
Even with Yadi passing him, he is still # 6 all-time in games as a catcher (and #5 in innings); how long of a career do you think he should have had?


It probably didn't shorten his career in terms of games played, given he considered every injury merely a flesh wound. But it likely limited his effectiveness in the back half of his career, probably costing him a decent chance at the Hall. He had no pop after age his age 27 season.
   27. Rally Posted: September 21, 2021 at 01:33 PM (#6040716)
Dunston was certainly no Ozzie, there was nothing he could have done to win a gold glove given his timing. At the time I thought he was a decent SS. He made a lot of errors, but had probably the best arm I’ve ever seen from the position. But maybe his range was lacking.

I look at Dunston in two stages. From 1986-91 he was on average around -5 runs per year. Not terrible, but below average. He missed most of 92 and 93 to injury and was terrible after that, until they finally moved him into a utility role. After his 32 error season in 1986, his fielding percentage was actually slightly better than league average, so the errors were not driving his poor rating. It could be a statistical fluke, maybe he played behind bad pitching staffs and had tougher ground balls to field. Or else maybe he didn’t cover much ground. Kind of surprising that a guy with good speed (judged from his baserunning) had slow feet in the field, but it does happen sometimes (Jeter). Maybe his reactions were just not quite as great as most MLBers. Every MLB hitter has to have elite reaction speed or they’d never make it. But maybe he’s just in the 99th percentile, while most shortstops are in the 99.5 percentile.

As for his arm, I remember him fielding a routine ground ball, taking a few steps toward first as if toying with the runner. Then when the runner was just a few steps away from safe, Dunston would flick his wrist and somehow deliver a 95 mph throw to just nip the runner. It was hard to believe he could create such a strong throw with such little apparent effort.
   28. Zach Posted: September 21, 2021 at 01:38 PM (#6040720)
This is looking at things backward actually. Until "splits" were kept, nobody asked the question as "in games in which they played catcher."

Yes, the point is that he hit all those home runs while playing a physically punishing position for most of his games, not the particular games in which they were hit.
   29. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 21, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6040724)
Perez has hit a HR every 3.2 games so far this year. The Royals have 11 games left. Assuming he plays all 11, and maintains his current rate, he'll end up with 49 HRs. Odds at 50 aren't good, but certainly possible.

If he hits 50 HRs while playing catcher, what are the odds he wins the MVP award? Neither of the other competitors are playing for teams that are running away with their divisions. Ohtani is of course the front-runner, because he's awesome. But 50 HRs from a catcher is also awesome.

Eh, looking at Pete Alonso from a couple years ago, I don't really think it's going to happen. He hit 53 and finished 7th. But it could.
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6040727)
Perez will also likely lead the league in RBIs. He's making it difficult for Guerrero to win the triple crown, although there's a couple of other guys ahead of Vlad in RBIs as well.
   31. Booey Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:05 PM (#6040728)
So I know there's a few posters who get annoyed when we turn every thread about individual players into a discussion regarding their HOF chances, but...well, I enjoy those threads so I'm gonna do it anyway.

Salvy has to be considered a legit candidate, right? WAR doesn't love him (29.6, age 31) because his OBP (.302) leaves a lot to be desired (his 26 walks this season are already a career high), but even if he goes back to being a 2.5 WAR player for the rest of his prime, he has a good shot at cracking 40 WAR and entering Yadi Molina territory (which should be seen as at least borderline for a catcher). He'll finish this season right around 200 career homers, so he'll likely pass 300 for his career even if his power drops back to 25-ish a season. He's got a respectable batting average (.270), 7 all star appearances, 5 gold gloves, and 3 silver slugger awards (and he'll surely get a 4th this year). He's currently got the "one team" hook going, and it's a team he helped lead to back to back World Series appearances, winning one. He could add a HR and/or rbi title to his resume this season, and now he just broke the single season HR record for a player whose primary position was catcher (his HOF plaque could phrase it exactly like that, same as they did for Chipper and his rbi and runs scored records for a player whose primary position was 3B).

Anyway, that's a lot of accomplishments that would look good on a HOF plaque and entice traditional (i.e. non SABR) voters, and if he can get his WAR into the 40's, even the SABR minded voters won't argue TOO hard against his induction, right?

Also, all title teams should have a HOFer, and no one else from the 2015 Royals has a prayer. ;-)
   32. Rally Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:11 PM (#6040730)
Yeah, he’s got a lot of good arguments going for him.

Kevin Appier for HOF - 55 WAR, but one and done. Who else has a prayer on the 2002 Angels?

Oh yeah, K-Rod. Fourth alltime in saves, everyone ahead of him is in. Plus he still holds the single season record.
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6040731)
If he hits 50 HRs while playing catcher, what are the odds he wins the MVP award? Neither of the other competitors are playing for teams that are running away with their divisions. Ohtani is of course the front-runner, because he's awesome. But 50 HRs from a catcher is also awesome.
As awesome as 50 HRs, or leading the league in RBI, would be, especially for a catcher, that’s not the whole story. He’s not in the Top 10 in OPS or OPS+, and trails Ohtani & Guerrero in WAR. His 2nd half surge probably moved Perez into a solid #3 on a strong ballot, perhaps almost universally so, but I doubt many think he overtook Ohtani or Guerrero. The .317 OBP & ‘only’ a 129 OPS+ count, too.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6040732)
Yea, Salvy finishes top 3 or 4 in MVP voting if this was 1988, but he probably finishes 8-10th on this year's ballot.
   35. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:25 PM (#6040734)
Salvy has to be considered a legit [HoF] candidate, right?
I think 2021 has moved him into the discussion for the first time, but he has a ways to go. Of course, it doesn’t take too many seasons similar to 2021 to change the perception.
   36. Booey Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:37 PM (#6040739)
#35 - Correct, I don't think he's close to being a HOFer NOW, just that a reasonable decline phase (obviously never a guarantee, especially for a catcher) would likely put him in that territory. And he doesn't even need a few more seasons like this one; even a return to his 2012-2018 numbers for another 5 years should do it (that would put him at 300+ homers and 45-ish WAR).
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6040741)

Yea, Salvy finishes top 3 or 4 in MVP voting if this was 1988, but he probably finishes 8-10th on this year's ballot.


I think Clapper's right. I think he could possibly get to third, but there's no way he's finishing ahead of Ohtani or Guerrero.

Wherever he finishes or what his Hall chances look like (unlike Yadi, Fangraphs hates his defense), he's a really fun player.
   38. Zach Posted: September 21, 2021 at 03:01 PM (#6040742)
Catcher WAR is weird because the framing issue can swamp more conventional measurements of defense. Salvy's at 5.3 at BBRef, 3.2 at Fangraphs. The difference looks to be that Fangraphs has him at -18.8 runs for framing.
   39. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: September 21, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#6040743)
Talking about Salvy's Hall of Fame chances made me curious about Javy Lopez's HoF case, which I already knew was functionally non-existent. But he wasn't even as close as I maybe talked myself into thinking he was. You can put together a parallel universe version of Lopez's career where he has a good Hall of Fame case (no injury in 1999, no two-year decline in 2001-2002, a more graceful decline period, 300+ homers instead of 260, maybe another ring), but at a certain point you have so many hypotheticals that you can basically do that with any Hall of Very Good type.
   40. Rally Posted: September 21, 2021 at 03:26 PM (#6040749)
Ohtani’s case: leading in WAR, doing something not seen since Babe played for the Red Sox. Team going nowhere.

Salvy: record HR total for catcher. Team going nowhere.

Vlad: best hitter in league, possible triple crown. But even if he can’t catch others in RBI, he’s leading in the BA/OBP/SLG triple crown. His team is in the battle to win a wild card spot.

But nobody mentions Marcus Semien. Playing right next to Vlad all year, usually right next to him in the batting order too. Slight lead over Vlad for top position player WAR.
Vlad has a big edge in batting runs (59-28). Marcus ahead in baserunning and DP avoidance (+5 to -5), defense (+10 to -1) and position (+5 to -9).
   41. DL from MN Posted: September 21, 2021 at 03:48 PM (#6040752)
Who else has a prayer on the 2002 Angels?


Mike Scioscia
   42. Zach Posted: September 21, 2021 at 04:07 PM (#6040757)
Salvy's HOF chances will probably be helped by the fact that he's done very well in awards voting. 7 All Star games, 5 Gold Gloves, 3 Silver sluggers, World Series MVP.

Most home runs by a catcher actually sounds like the kind of signature accomplishment that helps a candidate stand out from the crowd.

Everything depends on aging well, of course, but I think he'll end up being a legitimate candidate.
   43. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 21, 2021 at 04:08 PM (#6040758)
Before anyone says anything, I know you can't directly compare NPB stats to MLB stats. But I can't help but mention Katsuya Nomura if we're going to discuss power hitting catchers - 657 lifetime home runs, and he held the NPB single-season record of 52 before Sadaharu Oh broke it. That 52nd home run, which broke the record by one, came in the ninth inning of the last game of the 1963 season, on a 3-0 pitch. He led the Pacific League in home runs nine times, including eight straight seasons from 1961 to 1968, and won five MVPs and a Triple Crown. He was also a manager, and lost his manager's job due to his wife's behavior twice - once when it was discovered that she was intervening in team affairs (no, not that type of affair), and once when she was involved in a tax evasion scandal.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 21, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6040763)
Speaking of MVP awards, can we agree that the NL is still up for grabs? Tatis has fallen off a bit & missed time due to injury, while Harper & Soto have been red-hot in the 2nd half, closing the gap to now have about as good a case, IMHO, with time for all 3 to do some narrative building.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: September 21, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#6040768)
He’s got:

31 Hr in 451 ab as a c
15 in 128 ab as a dh


Yes, the point is that he hit all those home runs while playing a physically punishing position for most of his games, not the particular games in which they were hit.


I can very much see the latter point if the split was something like 42/4 homers as a catcher/not as a catcher.

in that case, how much would a handful of games significantly alleviate that "punishing?"
but about one-third of his HR as a DH, and his HR rate for the latter is much higher. I just don't see how Perez has some sort of a "record" when a number of catchers have hit 40 or more HR as a catcher - not 31.

we all agree he is having an amazing year.

that said, from a 'HR skills by a catcher' perspective, I don't see this one at the top of the list. c'est le vie.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6040771)
Joe Mauer was the last catcher whose bat was so good you had to keep him in the lineup

Oh how soon they forget Evan Gattis. :-) OK, not really although Hou installed him at full-time DH to get his bat in the lineup every day.

But an actual alternative is Posey who would regularly start about 110 at C, 30 at 1B and a few at DH.

Assuming Yadi goes in, it definitely opens the door to a possible Perez induction. But I don't think he'll ever catch up to Yadi in reputation (maybe if he keeps hitting like this) in which case it's like being Omar Vizquel who's not Ozzie Smith while also overlapping with Ozzie for half your career. Of course Omar might well make it which also bodes well for Perez.

As somebody above mentioned, 2021 is really an extension of 2020 for Perez. His HR/PA this year is 7.4%, last year it was 7.1%. His K-rate also took a big jump last year, repeated this year. His avgEV and hard-hit % took big jumps in 2018 and have pretty much stayed there. Everything suggests he's a different and much better hitter than he used to be. (Interestingly, his G/F has been steady since 2016 so he's not a launch angle guy, he's just a hit the ball a lot harder guy.)

   47. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6040775)
If he gets in, Salvy would certainly have the lowest OBA by any HOF hitter. The only one lower now is Maz, and Salvy will certainly dip below him as he ages.
   48. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2021 at 06:00 PM (#6040777)
NL MVP: I discussed it briefly in some thread last week. All of the top WARpos candidates have "flaws" whether it's missed playing time (Tatis, Harper) or (likely) missing the playoffs (Tatis, Harper) or playing for a team that went nowhere (Soto). Importantly for Tatis, he still leads the league in HRs and has a good shot at 100 R and RBI. Harper's not gonna win the HR title, likely won't come close to 100 RBI but does lead in OPS/OPS+. Last year Soto led the league in BA, OBP, SLG with an OPS+ over 200 and finished 5th ... nobody's pitching to him this year and his HR/RBI totals are way down. Bonds won a few with that sort of performance but generally with an out-of-this world OPS+ as well while Soto is currently behind Harper.

If Tatis or Harper manage to lead their team to the playoffs, it's probably theirs. If that doesn't happen, I've proposed the dark horses candidates Goldschmidt and Posey. I was expecting we'd have heard more about Posey as a possibility by this point so I think his chances are probably dead. Goldschmidt's main advantage is he's played every day -- 630 PA. His overall numbers aren't great but he's torn it up in the 2nd half. But similarly, I haven't seen any mention of him as a candidate and it's late to be building that sort of narrative. Freddie Freeman's case is the same as Goldschmidt's. If the Dodgers can overtake the Giants, Scherzer might have a shot at MVP. (I think he's winning CYA though.) As those dark horse candidates suggest, it's a tough year even for voters who want to reward somebody from a winning team.

It's a mess compared to most MVP years. It's a bit reminiscent of 1987 when Dawson won it. Ozzie is a popular choice around here but his WAR total was pretty weak by MVP standards and, although a good hitting year by Ozzie standards, a case built entirely on defense which is a tough way to win a MVP (he still finished 2nd). By rate stats, Jack Claark (3rd) was the best slugger candidate but he missed 30 games. Tim Wallach finished 4th, presumably because of 123 RBI. Gwynn led in WAR (by nearly 2), BA and hits ... and finished just 8th. The Padres were terrible ... but so were the Cubs.

So I won't predict anything other than that it will end up being a somewhat random selection, probably based on pretty arbitrary criteria. Whether those arbitrary criteria will lean towards a winning team or towards counting stats (Tatis) or towards rate stats (Soto), I really don't know. About all I feel "certain" about is that if the Phils miss the playoffs, it won't be Harper.
   49. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 21, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6040783)
Last year Soto led the league in BA, OBP, SLG with an OPS+ over 200 and finished 5th ...
Soto only started 42 of 60 games in 2020, mostly due to a covid test that he claims was a false positive. Without that, voters might have given him a bit more consideration. In any event, a down-to-the-wire MVP contest between Tatis, Harper & Soto should provide some entertainment, as will the explanations of how the votes were apportioned among the 3 contenders, and perhaps others.
   50. dejarouehg Posted: September 21, 2021 at 07:53 PM (#6040796)
Curious as to why B Crawford gets so little mention for NL MVP.

One of the great "what-might-have-beens" is had Bench not needed that horrific surgery after the '72 or '73 season, what his final numbers would have been.
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:08 PM (#6040808)
I'm sorry, but looking at the splits, how does anyone qualify that as breaking the record for catcher?
   52. Rally Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:30 PM (#6040812)
It's a mess compared to most MVP years. It's a bit reminiscent of 1987 when Dawson won it.


Hope we’ve learned enough since then not to make Adam Duvall the MVP.
   53. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:42 PM (#6040815)

I'm sorry, but looking at the splits, how does anyone qualify that as breaking the record for catcher?


"Well, ask yourself what the purpose of keeping the record is?....Why would you care whether something was a record for catchers or shortstops or outfielders? Presumably because they play under different conditions and therefore have different problems. Everybody knows a catcher's hands take a beating, for instance, in a way a center fielder's don't. So what you really want to know about is a man's habitual position over a period of time - a few games elsewhere shouldn't matter."

-Leonard Koppett, The Sporting News, September 1970
   54. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2021 at 10:06 PM (#6040817)
On Crawford: The main problem is we never thought of him as a "great" or even "potentially great" player. Guys like that can win an MVP of course if they do something like lead the league in HR and RBI or can sneak through in a year like this one where an excellent overall season on a winner can win over a bunch of under-whelming candidates. Which brings us to the 118 starts in 150 games problem and the 5.3 WAR vs >6 WAR problem. He is a SS though which helps so he's probably as good a darkhorse candidate as Posey (who gets C extra credit).

   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 10:13 PM (#6040818)
He has no chance of winning, but Trea Turner is leading the NL in hits, average, and SB while playing SS/2B. But getting traded midway through the season and only playing ~50 or so games for a contender probably rules him out.

It’s hard to see an NL West shortstop other than Tatis winning the award.
   56. Howie Menckel Posted: September 21, 2021 at 10:19 PM (#6040821)
a few games elsewhere shouldn't matter."

-Leonard Koppett, The Sporting News, September 1970


written before the advent of the DH. Koppett didn't think "elsewhere" meant the clubhouse or dugout.

also, define "few."
   57. baxter Posted: September 22, 2021 at 01:04 AM (#6040853)
48. No mention of Max Muncy? Well, I just did.
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6040874)
also, define "few."


That is the definition I want. Bench played 137 games as a catcher in 1970. Perez did 119 with 35 as DH. This is not really the same thing, heck Bench played first, left, right, but was actually on the field for all but 5 pa of that season (no hr there either) if you are touting someone for a record as a position player, he should be on the field for a significant portion or all of it. They both played over 150 games overall, so that can't be a knock against them, but there is absolutely a difference between playing actually on the field than DH.

And this isn't a knock on Perez, who is a great catcher defensively as well as offensively, it's about what qualifies vs what doesn't type of thing. At the same time, records are made to be broken, so maybe I should shut up and enjoy it.
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2021 at 09:29 AM (#6040877)
Curious as to why B Crawford gets so little mention for NL MVP.


Because like Tatis, he has missed a good chunk of the season, he's been excellent when in the lineup, but Tatis has similar number of pa (500 vs 502) and has been significantly more productive. Crawford will get MVP votes at the end of the season, it's impossible for him not, but he's a down ballot guy like Tyler O'Neill, (Bb-ref currently sucks, just the last couple of days if you click on a guy and click on league leaders all you get is all star appearances and ages... you have to go through a different routine to get a list of the top ten leaders in categories... I'm not even sure how to find out who the leaders are any more. That is an exaggeration, but it's not the way I normally do it...and I still like wearing onions on my belt. )
   60. Ron J Posted: September 22, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6040879)
#59 The leaders by WAR are Soto (6.7), Tatis (6.3) and a tight group indistinguishable in value: Turner, Harper, Reynolds, Crawford, Muncy, Riley, Machado, Goldschmidt.

Muncy had a recent bad stretch and dropped a fair amount. .198/.263/.477 in his last 95 PAs.

The BBRef WAR pitching leaders are Wheeler (6.9), Scherzer (6.5), Buehler (6.0), Woodruff (5.7), Miley and Burnes (5.5)

The standard error for WAR is not smaller than .5. It's probably a fair bit higher than that.

EDIT: Not that I attach much significance to it, but the WPA batting leaders are Harper, Tatis and Soto. Scherzer and Hader are quite a ways out front among pitchers.
   61. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2021 at 09:42 AM (#6040880)
If you want a line of "catcher" or "not catcher", it's either HR hit while officially playing C or anyone who is mostly a C is in.

Forget the record, if I asked you what position Salvy plays, what would you say?


If you don't like a guy playing another position occasionally, Javy holds the C record. If you're okay with another position, Perez holds it.

The only way to get Bench (who I love and whose hometown I often played) to keep the record is if you just want Bench to still hold the record. Which is cool. He's awesome. But your argument is twisted like a pretzel.
   62. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6040981)
This poll of MLB.com ‘experts’, now has Harper the NL MVP, with Tatis & Soto trailing. Soto does seem to have some momentum, and is now leading in WAR. If he can win the batting title to go with his big lead in OBP, he might close the gap some.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2021 at 02:22 PM (#6040990)
If you want a line of "catcher" or "not catcher", it's either HR hit while officially playing C or anyone who is mostly a C is in.

Forget the record, if I asked you what position Salvy plays, what would you say?


If you don't like a guy playing another position occasionally, Javy holds the C record. If you're okay with another position, Perez holds it.

The only way to get Bench (who I love and whose hometown I often played) to keep the record is if you just want Bench to still hold the record. Which is cool. He's awesome. But your argument is twisted like a pretzel.


How about, most homeruns hit as a catcher? We know by splits that Johnny Bench hit 38 as a catcher, Perez has 31, of course that probably gives Piazza the record with 40 etc.

And yes, people don't think of Dh as a "position" so if he's hitting 14 of them by not playing a position, it might figure into the discussion.
   64. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2021 at 03:03 PM (#6041005)
The HR hit while playing catcher is discussed above. Javy Lopez.


And people absolutely think of DH as a position. And, had Johnny Bench been in the AL, he'd have DH'd instead of playing 1B. I don't like the DH and would be fine seeing it eliminated. But, while it's an actual spot that is used by everyone in AL parks (or in 2020), it's an actual position. That you don't like it is irrelevant. I mean, I don't particularly like "relief pitcher". But it's a position.
   65. Howie Menckel Posted: September 22, 2021 at 05:59 PM (#6041099)
Salvador Perez has the most home runs hit in a single season by a player that played catcher that season.

There is no need to use "75%" or any other measurement than "played catcher".

One game, 10 games, 50 games, it doesn't matter, he holds the record.


Jimmie Foxx, Games Caught in MLB, and Years with 30+ HR

1925 - 1 C
1926 - 2 C
1927 - 5 C
1928 - 19 C
1929 - 33 HR
1930 - 37 HR
1931 - 30 HR
1932 - 58 HR
1933 - 48 HR
1934 - 44 HR
1935 - 26 C, and 36 HR
1936 - 41 HR
1937 - 1 C, and 36 HR
1938 - 50 HR
1939 - 35 HR
1940 - 42 C, and 36 HR
1941 - NEITHER
1942 - 1 C
1943 - WW II
1944 - 1 C
1945 - NEITHER

so Foxx hit 50 HR in 1938, and appeared as a C in 1937 and in 1940.

if only he and his managers had known, he could have claimed this record more than once!

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