Perez looks to make history with next homer

September 25th, 2018

CINCINNATI -- With his next home run, Royals catcher will make MLB history.

Presently, Perez is tied with Jim Thome as the only players in history to open the first seven seasons of their careers by increasing their home run total every season.

Perez has tied his career high of 27 home runs, set last season.

Since breaking into the big leagues in 2011, Perez's home run totals are: 3, 11, 13, 17, 21, 22, 27 and 27.

"It just shows the maturation of him as a hitter," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's gotten smarter, knowing which pitches to attack. That happens to good power hitters, and he is a special talent."

Perez, too, recognizes the achievement.

"Pretty good," Perez said, "for a catcher."

Perez's 27 home runs are impressive this season, too, because he opened the season on the disabled list for almost a month with a left knee injury.

"If I had those extra 20 or 25 games," Perez said, "I might be at 30 [home runs] now."

Yet while Perez is proud of his increased power numbers, he does lament that his other offensive numbers have not improved annually.

"It's a funny thing," he said. "I get more homers and more RBIs. But my average and on-base percentage seems to go down every year. Maybe I need to be more patient, see more pitches. Get more walks."

Perez's batting averages through the seasons: .331, .301, .292, .260, .260, .247, .268, .233.

"It's tough because I want to stay aggressive," Perez said. "That's who I am. I'm aggressive.

"I don't know. I think I can still be aggressive and see more pitches. The more pitches you see, the better your chance to see a pitch you like. But sometimes that pitch is early in the count. I don't know. I'll just keep working."