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Buster Olney: Royals' Salvador Perez Should Already Be Considered An Elite Catcher

The Kansas City Royals have several position prospects who sit at or near the top of the best young stars in the game. Wil Myers is lauded as a star of a future corner outfielder. Eric Hosmer is listed as one of baseball's top young first basemen. The same can be said of Mike Moustakas, while Bubba Starling is lauded with the best potential of all.

Buster Olney wants you to include another name on that list: Salvador Perez. The Royals just locked up Perez with a long-term contract extension for five years at $7 million (with incentives) with another three club options. According to Olney, it was a deal well worth making for a catcher who should be considered among the game's best.

Olney writes, "The Kansas City Royals’ signing of catcher Salvador Perez could turn out to be one of the club’s best contracts when this deal runs its course. Perez, 21, is one of the best all-around young catchers in the game and, with what he briefly showed last year, he already should be considered an elite catcher in the game along with Yadier Molina, Brian McCann, Miguel Montero, Buster Posey, Alex Avila, Matt Wieters and Joe Mauer.

Perez can catch, shut down the running game, hit for average and in time will hit for power. Perez might be getting just $7 million guaranteed, but by the time this contract is done he could earn as much as $26.75 million. Nonetheless, this could end up saving the Royals as much as $10 million over the span of the contract by avoiding arbitration."

It feels a little superfluous to put Perez in Joe Mauer's company. After all, the Twins catcher has won an MVP award and is one of the best pure hitters in the game of baseball. However, it is nice to see such praise heaped upon a player usually overlooked due to the other young stars also on the field. Perez is a promising catcher, and his stature should only raise as he continues to earn his keep at the ML level.