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Roberto Pérez

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Note: This page is for catcher Roberto Perez who made his major league debut in 2014; for others with similar names, click here

Roberto Perez

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Roberto Perez made his major league debut in 2014.

Perez went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 29th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He did not sign and went on to college. He then was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 33rd round of the 2008 Amateur Draft but did not sign until it was too late to appear in the minors that year. In 2009, he was with the AZL Indians (.351/.438/.511 in 34 G), Mahoning Valley Scrappers (3 for 14, 2B, BB) and Lake County Captains (.240/.381/.260 in 17 G). He was fourth in the Arizona League in average behind Jesus Brito, Mike Trout and Cody Decker but failed to make the All-Star team.

In 2010, Roberto batted just .217/.360/.339 for the Captains, drawing 80 walks in 118 games as his major offensive skill. He did throw out 40% of opponent base-stealers. He led Midwest League backstops in fielding percentage (.997), putouts (850) and assists (109).

Perez reached the majors with Cleveland on July 10, 2014, when he was the starting catcher and 9th-place hitter in a game against the New York Yankees. He made his debut a memorable one by going 2-for-3 with a walk in a 9-3 win. The second one of his hits was a two-run homer off reliever Jim Miller in the 8th inning.

He got to play a lot in 2016, following an injury to starter Yan Gomes and a poor performance with the bat by back-up Chris Gimenez. In 61 games, he hit .183 with 3 homers and 17 RBIs, but his key contribution was on defence, as he proved a steady hand in guiding the pitching staff as the Indians secured a division title. He had injury issues of his own as he did not play at all between the end of April and the middle of July. As late as August 6th, the he was hitting an awful .050, but he did a lot better in the last six weeks of the year, during which he played regularly. He was the starter in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox on October 6th and played a key role in his team's 5-4 win. First, he hit a solo homer off Rick Porcello to lead off the 3rd inning, the first of three solo homers by Cleveland batters in the frame, then in the 5th, he led off the inning with a single, stunned the Boston defense by taking second base on a routine fly ball by Carlos Santana, and then ran home on a single by Jason Kipnis to score the fifth run of the game, the run that eventually provided the margin of victory. In Game 1 of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs on October 25th, he hit a pair of homers in a 5-0 Indians win. In the process, he became the first number 9 hitter, the first Indians player and the first Puerto Rican to hit two homers in a World Series game.

He played 73 games in 2017, hitting .207 with 8 homers and 38 RBIs as he continued sharing playing time with Gomes. In the Division Series, he went 3 for 10 with a homer as the Indians fell to the New York Yankees. In 2018, he played 62 games and hit just .168. As a result, there was some concern when Gomes left following the season, leaving Perez next in line to be the starter, but he had breakout year in 2019, hitting .239 with 24 homers and 63 RBIs in 119 games. His defense continued to be excellent, as he threw out 41% of potential base stealers, best in the American League. He also did not allow a single passed ball in 118 games behind the dish; only three catchers in major league history had played more games in a season without a passed ball: Hall of Famers Bill Dickey and Johnny Bench, and the significantly more obscure Al Todd.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time AL Gold Glove Winner (2019 & 2020)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2019)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Ted Berg: "Indians catcher Roberto Perez has as many homers this October as he had all season", "For the Win!", USA Today Sports, October 26, 2016. [1]
  • Ben Weinrib: "Perez makes splash in 1st postseason game: Indians catcher tags out runner, homers, shows off baserunning in win", mlb.com, October 7, 2016. [2]

Related Sites[edit]