When Ned Yost took over as Royals manager, he has said many times, three players immediately jumped out to him: Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez.
All were minor-leaguers. Yet all exuded the sort of qualities that appeal to life-long baseball men.
On Thursday morning, Yost relayed his first impressions with Perez. It is an outstanding story. The catcher had just finished playing in Class A when Yost saw him.
"People always tell me they’ve seen kids that can throw down to second base in 1.85 (seconds), 1.84," Yost said. "I thought that was a fallacy. I’d never seen it one time in my career. Ever. Two (seconds) flat is the major-league average. You’re throwing in the low 1.9s, it’s really, really good.
"The first time I saw Salvy in a game, he threw a runner out. And I clicked it, and it was 1.83. Well, I’ve never been really good with this watch, anyway. So I figured I boofed it up some way.
"So I turned to the guy next to me. I said, ‘What’d you get on that?’ And he looked at it, and said, ‘I got a 1.83.’"
At this point in the story, Yost pantomimed turning to a scout sitting on the other side of him.
"I said, ‘What did you get?’ He goes ‘I got a 1.84.’ That’s when he caught my eye."To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.