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Catcher Profile: Sal Perez

Sometimes it’s just easy to like a good player.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

There are certain positons in fantasy that don't follow ordinary rules, catcher is one of them.  For example everyone's favorite catcher is always the catcher that doesn't catch anymore and is retaining eligibility.  The second love is the guy who is always on the field.  Last year Sal Perez had a 260/289/403 year with 17 HR and 1SB.

While that line won't blow you away, there are some numbers that really have me loving what is I think is coming.

First, his age.  He just finished his second full season, and played parts of the two seasons prior, he's going into his age 25 season, and through 1595 PAs he has a 22.4% line drive rate for his career, that's the 35th best rate in baseball since he first showed up in 2011.  He also had a .99 GB/FB rate last year, meaning he isn't missing more balls in one way or the other, he's making a lot of hard contact, and he's also hitting balls to all fields.  This is why his spray chart looks like this.

Courtesy of Fangraphs

There are line drives, grounders, and fly balls to all fields. His home run power is all to center and the pull side, which is normal, and his power is not something that is going to be his calling card anyway.  But lets stick with what he does well. He hits the ball.  Hence, why his whole zone profile has low to average whiff rates.

Courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net

Which may lead to his only real issue at the plate.  He is such a good contact hitter that balls that most players would miss, or take out of the zone, he is reaching and putting in play.  Perez could learn to take more pitches out of the zone, but I wonder how easy it is going to be for a coach to convince a hitter to stop swinging at balls, when he's hitting them all so well.  He's not going to be good in OBP leagues, but if you play with batting average, he's looking like he's poised to become a stud.

Courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net

The last pro of Sal's game is that in a position that is so physically demanding, he manages to always be on the field.  As amazing as this may sound, when you look at catchers who have qualified for the batting title over the past two seasons on Fangraphs you only get 6 players.  They are Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Jon Lucroy, Sal Perez, Carlos Santana, and Miguel Montero.  Obviously that leaves you with only four fantasy catchers this year if you go by the standard 20 games in the prior year.   His games played, may be the biggest advantage he holds over all other catchers this season, as there aren't any above average catchers who are moving off to another position, allowing Sal to potentially pile on the counting stats that other catchers won't have the opportunity to do.  For example, next season Steamer projects Sal Perez to have the second most hits out of all catchers, and if he continues to keep getting his hits, his Runs, RBI, and HR totals should all be just fine.  It's not the sexiest profile, but he was the 7th best Catcher according to ESPNs player rater in 2014, and I don't expect much different next season.

While this is totally irrelevant to fantasy production, if you want to see 4 minutes of Perez throwing everyone out, click the link below.  He's not going to lose his job behind the plate because of a lack of an arm anytime soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmGvz1FjrF8