The future has definitely started to morph into the present as Kansas City called up yet another piece of the puzzle following Tuesday's 4-0 loss to the Rays as the Royals have purchased the contract of catcher Salvador Perez from AAA Omaha.
The opportunity to bring up Perez was made available as Kansas City has allowed catcher Brayan Pena to be with his wife who is expecting sometime this week. I would expect the Royals will be placing Pena on the bereavement list which allows a player to be away from the team for personal matters they may have to attend to.
Perez, 21, comes to the Royals with much hype as a stellar defensive catcher. In 292 career games in the Royals minor league system Perez has thrown out 42% of runners attempting to steal. The 6'3" 230 lb catcher was originally signed as a 16-year old in September '06 as an international free agent from Venezuela. He becomes the youngest player on the team and the first player to have been born in the decade of the 90's to join the big league club.
Among the many accolades Perez has received, Baseball America had named Perez the top defensive prospect in the Royals farm system each of the past three seasons. He was an All-Star in 2010 in Class A's Carolina League, and this year he was a AA All-Star with Northwest Arkansas in the Texas League. He had recently been called up to Omaha were he played in 12 games, hitting .333/.347/.500. For the year Perez is batting .290/.331/.437 with 10 home runs and 53 RBI. This season he has thrown out 46% out attempted stolen bases by the opposition.
Though he is notably defensive minded, Perez's offensive power has seemed to grow with his age as he has a career high in home runs this season and had equaled the same number of RBI he had last season with Wilmington.
Attached is a highlight video from MLB.com of Perez throwing out a Padres base runner during Spring Training. You can view Perez's career numbers here. An additional video of Perez batting was found via youtube here.
Nothing has been made official as far as announcing a move on the 40-man roster to allow Perez to join Kansas City, however there has been speculation that a pitcher such as Jesse Chavez will be removed to make room.