The Cleveland Indians have some players up for awards and the team’s catcher is already bringing home some recognition for his play.
But let’s say you don’t care much for advanced stats. Even then, it was clear to see how great Perez was all year.
He is up for a Gold Glove Award and appears to be the favorite to win. Some recent news validates that belief.
Sports Info Solutions runs an annual set of awards called the Fielding Bible Awards. A panel of 12 votes on the best player at each position in all of baseball. As you may have guessed by now, Perez took home the award at catcher.
"He led all catchers with 29 Defensive Runs Saved, one shy of the most in a season by a catcher since BIS began tracking the stat in 2003. Pérez ranked second in our pitch-framing metric (Strike Zone Runs Saved), second in Catcher Block Rate (blocking potential wild pitches) and was above average in base-stealing deterrence."
Things like pitch-framing and block rate may go unnoticed to some fans, but it surely is noticed by the pitching staff. Perez helped elevate a staff dealing with injuries and inexperience for the entire season. He also made runners think twice about trying to steal a base.
This award should serve as a good sign for Perez’s chances of winning the Gold Glove at catcher. Though I do worry about the voters in that process. Anyone shunning analytics may miss out on what actually matters.
The Indians made a bold move to trade Yan Gomes last offseason and it paid off for both sides. Perez has evolved into a top-tier catcher and Gomes won a World Series.