KANSAS CITY, MO – Louisville Slugger ® and MLB Network announced Thursday evening the Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez has been named the American League’s 2018 Silver Slugger Award winner at catcher.
This is Perez’s second career Silver Slugger Award (also: 2016), and he joins George Brett (3) and Willie Wilson (2) as the only Royals to earn the honor multiple times since it was established in 1980. Perez is among 10 Royals (14 times) to earn the honor overall, and the only catcher.
This marks the fourth consecutive season in which a Royal has earned a Silver Slugger Award, as other recent winners include Kendrys Morales (2015) and Eric Hosmer (2017). Kansas City is one of four teams with at least one Silver Slugger Award winner in each of the last four seasons (2015), joining: Houston, Colorado and Miami.
Perez, 28, matched his career highs in home runs (27) and RBI (80) in 2018, despite missing the Royals’ first 20 games of the season due to injury. He led all Major League catchers in home runs and RBI, and led American League catchers with 50 extra-base hits.
He became the ninth Royal to hit at least 25 home runs in consecutive seasons and the first Major League catcher to accomplish the feat since Iván Rodríguez (1999-2001) and Mike Piazza (1995-2002).
Perez also became the fifth Royal to hit at least 20 home runs in four consecutive seasons, joining: John Mayberry (1972-75), Steve Balboni (1984-87), Bo Jackson (1987-90) and Mike Sweeney (1999-2002). Perez is the ninth catcher all-time – six of which are in the Hall of Fame – with four seasons of at least 20 home runs (consecutive or not) before turning 29, joining: Johnny Bench (7), Brian McCann (6), Yogi Berra (5), Gary Carter (5), Mike Piazza (5), Lance Parrish (4), Iván Rodríguez (4) and Joe Torre (4).
Perez hit two grand slams this season, including one in Baltimore on May 10, his 28th birthday. In doing so, he became the second Royal to hit a slam on his birthday, joining Mike Sweeney (2004), and the first in the American League to do it since Hideki Matsui in 2008. On September 14 vs. Minnesota, Perez matched a career high with five RBI, including a walk-off grand slam, the sixth in the Royals’ 50-year history.
Perez, who earned his fifth Rawlings Gold Glove Award on Sunday, is the sixth catcher to earn a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award in the same season multiple times (also: 2016), joining: Iván Rodríguez (7), Joe Mauer (3), Lance Parrish (2), Benito Santiago (2) and Gary Carter (2).
The Louisville Silver Slugger Award winners are decided by a vote of Major League Baseball managers and coaches who select the players they determine to be the best offensive producers at each position in the American and National Leagues. Selections are based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value. Managers and coaches are not allowed to vote for players on their own teams. Tabulation of the balloting is verified by the accounting firm of Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP.
Below is a list of the 10 Royals to win a Louisville Silver Slugger Award (instituted in 1980):
George Brett – 1980, 1985 and 1988 (1980 and 1985 at third base; 1988 at first base)
Willie Wilson – 1980 and 1982 (outfield)
Hal McRae – 1982 (designated hitter)
Frank White – 1986 (second base)
Gary Gaetti – 1995 (third base)
Dean Palmer – 1998 (third base)
Billy Butler – 2012 (designated hitter)
Kendrys Morales – 2015 (designated hitter)
Salvador Perez – 2016 and 2018 (catcher)
Eric Hosmer – 2017 (first base)