The Royals catcher finished seventh on the ballot cast by voters in the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Two-way star Shohei Ohtani, whom Perez caught to start the All-Star Game in Denver this summer, won the award unanimously, MLB Network announced on Thursday night. Perez received one second-place vote, two third-place votes, three fourth-place votes and six sixth-place votes.
The highest Perez has finished in MVP voting prior was 17th in 2020. He became the 10th Royal to finish seventh or higher in MVP voting and just the third in the last 35 years (Lorenzo Cain in 2015 and George Brett in 1990).
Perez, 31, signed a four-year contract extension with the Royals in Spring Training and followed with a career year at the plate. He hit 48 home runs in 2021 -- blowing past his previous career high of 27 -- which tied for the Major League home run lead with Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Perez also tied the Royals’ single-season home run record and broke Johnny Bench’s 1970 record for most home runs by a primary catcher (75 percent of games) in a single season. Perez also led the Majors in RBIs with 121.
Perez, who won his fourth Silver Slugger last week, hit .273 with an .859 OPS as the Royals’ most dangerous hitter. His .544 slugging percentage was 10th best in baseball.
Of Perez’s 48 homers, 18 gave the Royals a lead -- he was constantly coming to the plate in big situations and coming through for Kansas City. That total matched St. Louis’ Nolan Arenado for the most in the Majors. Perez also led with 34 multi-RBI games.