Salvador Perez is having the best season of his career, and he's doing it in what might be the most un-Royals way possible -- he's striking out more than ever. His whiff rate of 22.4 percent is nearly three times as high as it was in 2012, and it's the fourth straight season he's struck out more than the year before. It's the opposite of everything the famously strikeout-averse Royals stand for.
Despite the whiffs, Perez's line sits at a stellar .300/.331/.536 after a double in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Mets, as he's more than compensated for the strikeouts with big increases in exit velocity (up from 87.9 mph last year to 90.6 mph) and power (slugging percentage up from .426 to .536). If he was arguably the best catcher in the American League in previous years, he's unquestionably the best in 2016, even before accounting for the value he brings behind the plate.
Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.