Perez, Keller Named Royals Player, Pitcher of the Month For July


KANSAS CITY, MO. (August 2, 2021) – The Kansas City Royals announced today that catcher Salvador Perez and right-handed pitcher Brad Keller have been named Royals Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for the month of July. The awards are determined by a local media vote.

Perez, 31, led the Royals in hits (25), home runs (7) and RBI (18) in 24 games last month, including five home runs in a seven-game span from July 24-30, and a home run in three straight games last Wednesday through Friday. Four of his seven homers tied the game or gave the Royals a lead, including a game-tying shot in the eighth inning on Thursday off Liam Hendriks, which forced extra innings in an eventual Royals win over the division-leading White Sox. Salvy was the starting catcher in the All-Star Game last month—his seventh All-Star appearance—and became the fourth Royal to participate in the Home Run Derby, hitting 28 homers in the first round, the most ever by a catcher in the event. This is Perez’s fourth Royals Player of the Month Award and second this season, after winning the honor in April.

Keller went 1-1 last month despite a 2.28 ERA (7 ER in 27.2 IP) and .194 opponents’ average (19-for-98), which ranked fifth and sixth, respectively in the American League. He pitched into the seventh inning in all four of his outings—all quality starts—including July 9 in Cleveland, where he did not factor into the decision despite allowing one run on four hits in 7.2 innings with a season-high nine strikeouts. His lone win came on July 21 in Milwaukee, where he allowed three runs in 6.2 innings. In his most recent start last Tuesday vs. the White Sox, Keller celebrated his 26th birthday by allowing just one run on four hits in 7.0 innings and exited with a 3-1 lead, which was erased by Chicago’s four-run eighth inning. This is Keller’s sixth Royals Pitcher of the Month Award, matching Wade Davis and Danny Duffy for the fourth most since the honor was first given in 1995, trailing only Zack Greinke (8), Joakim Soria (8) and Kevin Appier (7).

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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