KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez has been named a finalist for the 2021 Hank Aaron Award, Major League Baseball announced today.
Perez is one of seven finalists in the American League for the award, which recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in the regular season in each league and was established in 1999.
Fans have the opportunity to help select the winners of this distinguished award by voting for an American League and National League player online at MLB.com/Aaron. Fan voting concludes Oct. 15.
Each club nominated one player to be considered for the Hank Aaron Award. A panel of MLB.com writers determined the seven finalists from each league from the list of club nominees.
Perez hit 48 home runs, matching Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the Major League lead, becoming the first Royal hold at least a share of the Majors lead in homers. He also recorded an MLB-best 121 RBI, becoming the second Royal to top the big leagues in RBI, joining Hal McRae (133) in 1982. He is the sixth player (eighth occurrence) in the last 30 years to lead baseball in both home runs and RBI, joining Giancarlo Stanton (2017), Chris Davis (2013), Miguel Cabrera (2012), Ryan Howard (2002, 2008), and Álex Rodríguez (2002, 2007). Salvy’s home run total is the highest in a season by a player who caught at least 75% of his games, three more than the previous high, held by Hall of Famer Johnny Bench (45) in 1970.
Perez hit .273/.316/.544 (169-for-620), appearing in 161 games, including 124 at catcher. Along with topping the Majors in homers and RBI, he also ranked third in the American League in total bases (337), fifth in slugging percentage, tied for eighth in hits and extra-base hits (72), setting career highs in each in a 162-game season.
In addition to the fan vote, a special panel of Hall of Fame players will vote on the winners of the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball. Hall of Famers Chipper Jones, Pedro Martínez and John Smoltz joined the returning voting panel that included Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount.