KANSAS CITY – On August 10, 2010, Venezuelan catcher Salvador Pérez came to the majors with authority, landing a hit, driving in a run and surprising two on the bases in his debut.
Ten years later, it’s still thundering.
The veteran hit two home runs among his three hits in the 8-4 win for Royals over the Yankees on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Not only was Pérez’s tenth anniversary in the Major Leagues commemorated, but those home runs were the 28th and 29th of his season; a personal top, after splicing 27 both in 2017 and 2018.
Pérez has a projection of 42 homers for 2021, which would mean the third highest number for a player who has played at least 75% of his catching games, behind Johnny Bench (45 in 1970) and Puerto Rican Javy. López (43 in 2003).
“Something that I will never forget,” Pérez said. “It was amazing, especially since we won the game. That is the most important”.
It was Perez’s 10th more than one homerun game of his career and his fourth of the season.
Before Tuesday’s game, Pérez watched some videos of his debut, hitting a sacrifice fly off Wade Davis – the Venezuelan’s future teammate and last-out pitcher of the 2015 World Series.
Perez has been one of the Royals’ most dangerous hitters for a decade, as well as being a leader behind the plate. First, leading Kansas City to two World Series in a row and then commanding the team in the midst of rebuilding, leading a group of talented pitchers to establish themselves in the majors.
The seven-time All-Star player made his debut at age 21, but appears to continue to improve at 31. Tuesday’s home runs took him to 72 RBIs for the year, eight from his career high (80 in 2017 and 2018). ).