Royals add to prospect influx by calling up 21-year-old catcher Salvador Perez

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Salvador Perez is the latest prospect on his way to Kansas City, with the Royals calling up the 21-year-old catcher from Triple-A in time for tonight’s game and releasing historically awful starter Kyle Davies to make room on the roster.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Start reports that Perez “is expected to become the club’s regular catcher upon arrival.”

Whether or not he’s ready to thrive in the majors is another issue, because while Perez’s batting average in 91 games between Double-A and Triple-A is a nice-looking .291 he added just 10 homers and 16 walks for a mediocre .331 on-base percentage and .437 slugging percentage.

Those are solid numbers from a catcher, particularly given how young Perez was relative to the level of competition, but mediocre power and non-existent plate discipline leave him looking like anything but a top prospect and his track record is fairly unimpressive. He makes tons of contact and has hit for solid batting averages, so if Perez can develop some more pop or patience he has a chance to be very good, but for now he’s a question mark in the short and long term.

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

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NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.