Player Profile: Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Pillar is a speedy lead off hitter batting in front of an underrated Blue Jays lineup. He has many of the traditional skill sets that most lead off hitters do including his superior contact skills. Pillar ranks 5th best among 179 qualified hitters for contact percentage on pitches inside the strike zone. That aggressive approach also prevents him from getting very many free passes. Although his walk rate has improved from 4.1% last year to 6.5% this year that still places him among the bottom third in all of baseball. One of his major assets is his speed. He is getting on base at an improved .341 clip and is pacing a new career high in steals (27). One of the biggest improvements we have seen this year is his power output. He has 7 Home Runs on the season to go along with his career best SLG of .472 (almost .100 points higher than last season). Based on his below league average EAV (Avg Exit Velo) of 86.4 MPH it leads me to believe that his SLG will see some regression down to the Low .400 to .425 range. Although Pillar’s runs and steals numbers would benefit from a few more walks he still puts himself in position to contribute well in both of those categories. As for the power side I am leaning toward him not being able to continue this HR Pace, but his somewhat sustainable 11.7 HR/FB rate and his ideal 14 degree average launch angle are both working in his favor.

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