Former Teammates Praise Maldonado


"The dude’s unbelievably smart," Astro’s Reliever Ryan Pressly told the Athletic. Teammate Joe Smith said "He’s great, man. He’s in it with you. He competes. He doesn’t take plays off. He’s smart (and) knows the league. Obviously, he’s got an absolute cannon. You don’t really have to worry about people running even if they get good leads because the guy’s got one of the best arms in the game."

Maldonado is no long term option for the Royals. However, he is vital to the rebuilding team. He’s probably the second-best catcher in the American League — the first being the Royal’s Salvador Perez or Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees. These are the Gold Glove Winners since 2013 (Salvy’s first season as a starter): Salvador Perez, Salvador Perez, Salvador Perez, Salvador Perez, Martin Maldonado, and Salvador Perez.

The Royals won’t see a major decrease in power or efficiency. Last year Salvy hit for .235, with an OPS of .713, while Maldonado hit for .225 with an OPS of .627. Despite his low batting numbers, Maldonado is stellar behind the plate. His teammates spoke extensively about his abilities to call games and frame pitches.

Pressly went on to say, "He was an awesome dude to have behind the plate. The Royals should be pretty happy. I know it’s hard to fill those shoes behind Salvador, but I think you’ve got the best backup plan you could possibly get right there with Maldonado."

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