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Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: SALVADOR PEREZ C KANSAS CITY ROYALS

We continue on with our endless profiles and features on the various prime hitters and pitchers that will be the heavy focus for the 2016 fantasy baseball season by today taking a closer look at Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez.  The free-swinging backstop has long been a favorite of this peanut stand and has now fully graduated into a top five fantasy baseball catcher.  Let's take a closer look at his numbers and see where he could travel to statistically for 2016. 

What is really interesting about Perez as a hitter is that he has changed a bit on the fly since coming into the league in 2011.  When Perez first became the regular starting catcher for the Royals, he showcased a rare .300 average for a backstop to along with decent enough power.  During his first full season as a starter in 2012, Perez opened eyes by hitting .301 (which is like .320 for a hitter at any other position) to go with 11 home runs.  He would nearly match those numbers in 2013 with a .292 average and 13 home runs.  Thus Perez made himself into a clear top ten fantasy baseball catcher despite the fact underneath the gaudy average, he showed next-to-no patience with walk rates under 5.0 BB/9. 

Things began to change during the 2014 season however as Perez further grew into his power as he smacked a new career-high of 17 home runs but saw his average crater to a shaky .260.  Since average is usually overlooked at catcher, the growth in power was actually applauded with Perez as he further cemented himself as an allergic to walks hitter.  Alas 2015 took things to new heights as Perez reached the hallowed for a catcher 20-plus home run mark with 21 while repeating 2014's average of .260.  The walk rate?  Again very ugly at just an obscene 2.4 percent.  Now a veteran who will turn 26 in May, Perez seems like he has firmly established himself as a fantasy baseball catcher who will bat in the .260 range and not much higher due to the utter lack of patience, while also putting up 15-20 home runs.  Yes Perez hit 21 in 2015 but we want to see him do that again before we decide to bank on him being a stalwart there.  No matter what though, Perez is knocking on the door of top five fantasy baseball territory based on the numbers and his terrific durability. 

When you put it all together, Salvador Perez now seems like a safe investment to make in terms of your fantasy baseball catcher but one whose draft price is rising like never before.  He seems to have passed through the "value" stage of the draft which makes an investment in him a bit shaky due to the declining draft value but overall Perez has more than proven himself to be a solid play if you do decide to take him on.

2016 PROJECTION:  .267 19 HR 73 RBI 54 R 1 SB 

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