The Kansas City Royals secured a series win with a 6-0 domination of the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, and catcher Salvador Perez was a major reason why.
In addition to tying his career-high total with 22 walks, Perez drove in three runs to bring his tally to a whopping 102 on the year. Somehow, both of those feats took a backseat to the absolute missile he hit in the bottom of the first inning.
Perez's 41st jack of the season was perhaps his most impressive one of the season. Not only was it on a fastball well away from him, but he drove it opposite field and into the fountains at Kauffman Stadium. That takes extreme power and after the game, Royals manager Mike Matheny joked about how unreal of a feat the homer was.
"Most of us could stand in right field with a fungo and not hit it up there," Matheny said.
For those at home wondering what a "fungo" is, it's a lightweight bat commonly used during training. Perez's power is legitimate and even his skipper, a 13-year MLB vet who hit 67 home runs of his own throughout his career, is in awe. He continued to emphasize just how special of a 2021 Perez is having and how his bomb on Sunday was further proof of that.
"When it came off the bat, it looked different," Matheny said. "He's... I don't know how else to say it. Sure glad he's on our side."
Nearly half of Perez's home runs this season have come since the All-Star break. 20, to be exact, with eight in his last 11 games. He clobbered a pair of pitches on Saturday night, recording five RBIs in the process. During his "on" nights, Perez is as good as anyone in the game of baseball.
The numbers back it up, too. As of the time this article was published, the seven-time All-Star is within two of the major league home run lead. Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani is in pole position with 43 but if Perez stays hot, that may not be the case for long. Matheny knows it, and he surely isn't taking this display of amazing power for granted.