Instant gratification. A bane on any society. The ability to delay gratification, to delay short-term pleasure for long-term gain is what builds and preserves civilization. Especially as it applies to the world of sports. Some young hotshot has a good game or two and people start wondering how he could compare to the game's all time greats. I want no part of that. Wait a couple of decades until after a player retires before assessing his place in the game.
So it pains me to admit I have been guilty of doing that which I hate. I have been pondering the following question, even if it feels a bit early. That is:
Is Salvador Perez one of the top 10 catchers in Royals history?
Even asking that question causes me conflict. Am I guilty of doing the very thing I criticize? Am I contributing to the decline of culture by demanding instant gratification? After all, he is only in his 10th year with the Royals. He is only 31. He could very well have 7 - 8 productive years left. Am I letting his status as my favorite Royal lead me in a rush to judgement?
But yet, I have to consider the numbers. They don't lie. Among Royals catchers, Salvador Perez currently ranks:
1. In the top 10 in career home runs
2. In the top 10 in career RBI
3. In top 10 in home runs in a season
4. In the top 10 in RBI in a season
5. In the top 10 in gold-gloves won
6. In the top 10 in All-Star appearances
7. In the top 10 in World Series game played.
8. In the top 10 in baserunners thrown out.
9. In the top 10 in career walks drawn.
10. In the top 10 in regular season games played.
That is just the start. There are many other great accomplishments too numerous to list
But yet, part of me wonders that while those stats are impressive, am I given to recency bias? After all, given the storied history of Royals catchers, can we be sure yet of where he would fit?
From A (Canadian phenom Andy Stewart) to Z (OPS machine Gregg Zaun), the Royals have boasted their share of brilliant backstops.
From the king of walks Darrell Porter to the king of being hit by pitches Mike Macfarlane.
From the defensive wizardry of Jim Sundberg to the home run wizardry of John Buck.
From John Wathan and his legendary base-sealing prowess to his son Dusty Wathan and his legendary career 1.467 OPS.
From World Series MVP Pat Borders to Eric Kratz, who caught the last out in another World Series.
From World Series winning manager A.J. Hinch to future Kansas City Royals manager Jason Kendall.
From Ed Hearn, who was worth trading David Cone for, to Dennis Werth, worthy of a top-half of the draft selection.
From Benito Santiago and his 217 career home runs, to Mike Sweeney and his 215 career home runs.
From the Italian legend Sal Fasano to the Greek legend George Kottaras.
From Luis Pujols, who has combined with cousin Albert to hit 685 career home runs, to Bob Boone, who combined with sons Bret and Aaron to hit 483 career home runs.
As you can see, that's quite the list. But I just can't shake the feeling that Salvador Perez belongs in the top 10 of any list of Royals catchers. I have decided to pay no attention to those who say nay; who say it's way too early to judge. His impressive resume speaks for itself.
Salvador Perez is clearly one of the 10 best catchers in Royals history.