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Blue Jays mid-term report card: Grade Kevin Pillar’s first half

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

I’m not up to discussing the Marcus Stroman thing this morning, I think it is ok for players to blow off steam, on occasion. I think we all blow off steam on occasion. Fortunately, most of us don’t do it in front of a bunch of reporters. I think complaining about a reporter’s question is a little silly but such is life. You don’t want to answer a question, say ‘I don’t want to talk about that right now’, don’t go on a rant.

Other than that, the only news out there is Chris Rowley has been optioned to Buffalo.

So let’s do a report card for Kevin Pillar.

Pillar started the season, like he always seems to, on a hot streak. We had the annual stories about how he had ‘figured it out’ and how batters need 500 games to find out what sort of player he is.

And then he became Kevin Pillar again.

After our doubleheader on May 3rd, Pillar was hitting .322/.373/.562 with 9 walks and 4 homers in 32 games. Since then he’s hit .206/.224/.323 with 5 walks and 4 homers in 61 games.

In total, he is hitting .247/.279/.407, right in line with his career numbers. Baseball Reference has him at a 1.7 WAR. FanGraphs has him at a 1.2 WAR. His wRC+ is 82. He had an 81 in 2016 and an 85 last year.

Defensively, he still makes plays that make you wonder how a human could do that. Unfortunately, he injured himself on his last amazing catch. I don’t think he’s quite the fielder he was a few years back. FanGraphs has him at a 4.9 UZR/150, which is still good.

In an outfield with two new members, neither of which is proven, he is the one sure thing. We know what we have with Pillar, even if we aren’t quite thrilled with his offense.

He’s a streak hitter, I was hoping he was starting on another hot streak and then he ends up on the DL and we aren’t likely to see him again before August.


For the first half I would grade Kevin Pillar an

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