Royals catcher Salvador Perez is a legend, and first-year manager Matt Quatraro has greatly enjoyed getting to manage him.
Perez, as per usual, is off to a good start this season at the dish. He’s hitting .282 with seven home runs, good for an .830 OPS – all while continuing to play Gold Glove-caliber defense.
Perez turned 33 on Wednesday, prompting Quatraro to get asked in his weekly appearance on Fescoe in the Morning about Perez's legacy.
“I genuinely have an appreciation for any player that does this at a high level for as long as they do it," Quatraro said. "Because really, at the end of the day when people evaluate is he a Hall of Famer or whatever, just to have that mentioned is the elite of the elite.
“And then when you sit back and you look at the numbers, you can say, 'Oh, he only had 2,500 hits, he didn’t get 3,000 hits.' When you say only and you start trying to qualify that stuff, that means that those numbers are astronomical even to the really good Major League players.”
Having coached in the American League since 2014, Quatraro got to see Perez on occasion. Now in his first year as Royals manager, he gets a front-row seat to watch him.
“To be able to watch Salvy play, he’s in his 30s, he’s in his 13th season or whatever it is, he’s playing at a level that is so far beyond what people do at that point in their career, it’s really impressive," Quatraro said. "I’m really honored to just be a part of it.
“But more than anything, he’s just such a pro. He loves to play, you guys have seen it forever, huge smile on his face. He gets beat up behind the plate every night, he’s definitely not feeling great all the time, but that smile would never let you know that.
"That’s part of the energy he brings to the team and to his career, and I think that’s part of the reason he can sustain it the way he does."
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