Yost high on Perez's defensive skills

Yost high on Perez's defensive skills

CHICAGO -- Kansas City's Ned Yost has been around numerous catchers in his nine-year managerial career, but there's no question in his mind which one is the best defensively.

It's his current backstop, Salvador Perez, who Thursday set a Royals' single-season record for catchers with his Major League-high fourth pickoff.

"He's the best," Yost said Friday before the Royals began a three-game series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. "His throwing, his intellect, his athleticism. Very, very solid behind the plate in every aspect defensively."

And, of course, the 22-year-old isn't bad at the dish either, hitting .313 with nine home runs and 30 RBIs with only 16 strikeouts in 56 games. He also extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games on Friday.

Yost said Perez has lived up to the organization's expectations and, when asked of the youngster's ceiling, Yost responded by saying Perez can be a "perennial All-Star."