Cleveland Indians fans have seen catcher Roberto Perez take home plenty of hardware for his outstanding play during the 2019 season.
Perez won a Fielding Bible Award, was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, and took home his first Gold Glove. The final prize was the Platinum Glove Award, which he did not end up winning. Though that is based on fan voting. The awards he did in fact win used analytics and Perez was clearly deserving.
And by the way, Perez was named the Man of the Year by Cleveland’s baseball writers.
The catcher played through pain all season and took a staff filled with injuries and inexperience to great heights. He helped Shane Bieber become an ace and guided both Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac as the rookies found success in 2019.
Perez did all of this in his first full season as a starter.
Casual fans may not care too much about these awards, but I believe those who dive into the analytics appreciate seeing Perez get the awards he earned. Baseball has a tendency to reward players based on popularity, or how nice they are to reporters. Having stats be the focus is better for everyone involved. It ensures the best players are recognized and helps writers not look dumb.
Though some will still make questionable decisions when voting for the Hall of Fame.
The Perez hype will fade away until the season begins as the awards he can win have all been handed out. That is one less position fans, and the front office, have to worry about this offseason. We can all focus on the other glaring holes and the situation with our star shortstop.