KANSAS CITY, MO. (November 23, 2021) – Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez has been named the All-MLB First Team catcher for the second straight season, as Major League Baseball unveiled selections for the third annual All-MLB Team, presented by Cue Health, tonight on MLB Network. The first and second teams were selected by a combination of voting from fans and a decorated panel of media members, broadcasters, former players and other officials throughout the game. Each team honored one catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, designated hitter, plus three outfielders, five starting pitchers and two relievers.
Perez, who was also tabbed All-MLB First Team in 2020, was selected over finalists Willson Contreras (Cubs), Yasmani Grandal (White Sox), Buster Posey (Giants), J.T. Realmuto (Phillies), Will Smith (Dodgers) and Mike Zunino (Rays) this season.
Perez, who earned his fourth Louisville® Silver SluggerTM earlier this month, tied for the Major League lead with 48 home runs in 2021, becoming the first Royal to hold at least a share of the Majors lead in homers. He also led the big leagues with 121 RBI, becoming just the second Royal to do so, joining Hal McRae, who had a Majors-best 133 RBI in 1982. He is the sixth different player to lead the Majors in home runs and RBI in the last 30 years, joining Giancarlo Stanton in 2017, Chris Davis in 2013, Miguel Cabrera in 2012, Ryan Howard in 2006 and 2008 and Álex Rodríguez in 2002 and 2007. Perez became the second primary catcher to lead the Majors in HR and RBI, joining Johnny Bench, who did it in 1970 and 1972.
His 48 home runs, which tied Jorge Soler (2019) for the single-season franchise record, were the most in a season by a player who played at least 75% of his games at catcher, three more than the previous benchmark held by Bench, who hit 45 home runs in 1970. Salvy hit 33 home runs as a catcher—the other 15 came as a designated hitter—which fell just two shy of Iván Rodríguez’s American League record of 35 HR as a catcher, set in 1999, according to Elias.
Along with being a two-time All-MLB First Team catcher and a four-time Louisville® Silver SluggerTM, Perez has also been named an All Star seven times, including in 2021, and is a five-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner.
He finished the 2021 season ranking second in Royals history in homers (200), seventh in RBI (656), eighth in total bases (1,994) and 10th in hits (1,161) and doubles (213). Since his debut season in 2011, he’s thrown out the second-most would be base stealers (178), while his 26 catcher pickoffs in that span are tops in the Major Leagues.