Salvador Perez will do anything to hit a baseball. He'll swing at curveballs in the dirt and fastballs at his chin. How many times have we seen Salvy connect on a clear non-strike? His talent for putting the bat on balls outside of zone is what defines him as a hitter. However, this particular talent is also his greatest weakness. Just how rare is a Salvador Perez walk?
In his 12th season (1301 career games), Salvy has 188 career walks and an average walk percentage of 3.6, per Fangraphs. He has never had more than 28 walks in a season. In comparison, Vinny Pasquantino has 58 walks with a 11.1 average BB% in his first 124 major league games. How does he compare in his position group? Here are the career walk numbers for current top three offensive catchers this season:
1. Sean Murphy (373 career games) 148 walks, 10.3 average BB%
2. Jonah Heim (265 career games) 72 walks, 7.6 average BB%
3. Adley Rutschman (165 games) 106 walks, 15.1 average BB%
Salvy has played a lot more baseball than these three players. In fact, he has played more games than all of them combined. What kind of player would Salvy be with better plate discipline? How much better would his numbers look? Would he have swung at a breaking ball low and outside of the zone on September 30th, 2014?