Venezuela was, together with Japan, the only team with a perfect record in the Pool phase of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
They defeated, in order, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, and Israel.
To achieve that immaculate 4-0 in Pool D against top-notch competition, they needed some stellar performances both from hitters and pitchers.
Anthony Santander and David Peralta were the heroes in the first game, and the pitching staff as a whole did a marvelous job in games 3 and 4.
In Game 2 against Puerto Rico, however, Salvador Perez was the top dog.
His efforts in the first phase of the tournament earned the Kansas City Royals catcher MVP honors for Pool D.
Your Pool D MVP: Salvador Perez (5-for-10, 5 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI) pic.twitter.com/GDiQL3kRfI
— World Baseball Classic (@WBCBaseball) March 16, 2023
With a .500 average, a home run, five RBI, five runs and a marvelous job guiding Venezuelan pitching, Perez was the best choice to earn the recognition.
Peralta and, especially, Santander were also impressive throughout the four games with clutch hit after another.
However, it was Perez getting the nod, and deservingly so.
The Royals’ franchise player, who won the 2015 World Series MVP award, hit 48 home runs in 2021 but reverted back to 23 last year.
In any case, he is a perennial 20-homer hitter with contact and lots of experience.
He is not the best framer out there, but he is a born leader who is doing wonders for the Venezuelan team.
He has been an asset for his country, and will be needed more than ever now that Venezuela will have to go through the United States to advance.NEXT: A Royals Pitcher Was Dealing In The WBC