Salvador Perez, Scott Barlow, Nicky Lopez win Royals’ postseason honors

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Posted at 1:46 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 14:46:16-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Salvador Perez has repeated as the Kansas City Royals’ player of the year, while reliever Scott Barlow and infielder Nicky Lopez also were honored with year-end awards in voting by the team’s Baseball Writers Association of American chapter.

Perez, 31, who tied the team record with 48 home runs last season, won the Les Milgram Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season.

Barlow, 28, claimed the Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year honor, while Lopez captured the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award, the Royals announced Monday.

Perez is the fifth repeat winner of the Milgram award and the first since Eric Hosmer in 2016-17. He tied for the major-league lead in home runs, a first in club history, and broke Johnny Bench’s big-league record for the most home runs by a primary catcher in a season.

Five Royals have won the award more than Perez — George Brett (eight), Amos Otis (three), Mike Sweeney (three), Billy Butler (three) and Hosmer (three) — while six others players — Hal McRae, Willie Wilson, Frank White, Danny Taratabull, Carlos Beltran and Lorenzo Cain — also have won the honor twice.

Perez, who won the AL Silver Slugger and Rawlings Gold Glove awards at catcher, also led baseball with 121 RBIs, becoming the second Royals player to win the RBI title (Hal McRae, 133 in 1982).

Barlow’s award came after he led Kansas City with 74.1 innings pitched out of the bullpen in a career-high 71 appearances, including team-highs with 16 saves and 56 scoreless outings.

The right-hander also led the Royals’ bullpen in wins (five), ERA (2.42) and strikeouts (91).

Lopez enjoyed a career year at the plate, batting .300 with 78 runs scored, 43 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. He batted an American League-best .334 after June 15 and also posted a .386 on-base percentage during that span, which trailed only AL MVP Shohei Otani (.387).

Lopez’s .987 fielding percentage was tops among AL shortstops and included a franchise-record 72 straight games without an error at the position.