Kevin Pillar
Kevin Pillar
30-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
You may not draft Pillar, but at some point, you'll have him, or a player of his ilk. Pillar is the model, "doesn't hurt you, helps you a little everywhere" guy whose defense keeps him in the lineup when healthy. That last part is key as despite averaging a reasonable 147 games the past three seasons, Pillar is usually docked for health concerns. Rostered for cheap speed without sacrificing much power, Pillar has posted consecutive seasons with homers and steals in the teens. His stolen-base ceiling is higher, but the Blue Jays don't run much, managing the third-fewest steals since 2016. Of slight concern: Pillar's fielding metrics have dropped each of the past two seasons, but they're still positive. His plate skills declined last year, as he walked a paltry 3.3% of the time while fanning at an 18.1% clip, his highest mark since becoming a full-time player in 2012. Pillar should be mixed-roster worthy for at least one more season, at a minimal cost. Read Past Outlooks
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$Non-tendered by the Giants in December of 2019.
Doesn't receive contract
OFFree Agent  
December 2, 2019
Pillar was non-tendered by the Giants on Monday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
In a surprising move by the Giants, Pillar will become a free agent after being non-tendered. He put together a .259/.287/.432 slash line with 21 homers, 88 RBI and 14 stolen bases over 161 games in 2019 and figures to draw plenty of interest on the open market.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .816 485 61 18 54 8 .282 .313 .502
Since 2017vs Right .673 1334 159 34 135 35 .246 .282 .391
2019vs Left .823 174 22 9 29 4 .278 .305 .519
2019vs Right .681 471 61 12 59 10 .252 .280 .401
2018vs Left .686 156 18 5 15 1 .235 .256 .430
2018vs Right .717 386 47 10 44 13 .259 .293 .424
2017vs Left .940 155 21 4 10 3 .336 .381 .559
2017vs Right .628 477 51 12 32 12 .230 .274 .354
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2017Home .701 922 103 28 95 26 .248 .279 .421
Since 2017Away .721 897 117 24 94 17 .263 .302 .419
2019Home .725 335 36 11 47 8 .260 .287 .438
2019Away .713 310 47 10 41 6 .257 .287 .426
2018Home .726 274 36 11 31 9 .243 .270 .456
2018Away .690 268 29 4 28 5 .261 .295 .395
2017Home .652 313 31 6 17 9 .240 .279 .373
2017Away .756 319 41 10 25 6 .271 .322 .434
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Stat Review
How does Kevin Pillar compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
86.4 mph
Hard Hit Rate
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kevin Pillar
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
53 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
DraftKings MLB: Saturday Picks
85 days ago
The Mariners/White Sox matchup should involve plenty of offense, which is why Mike Barner recommends stacking hitters from both lineups.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Tuesday Picks
89 days ago
Mike Barner recommends a Red Sox stack Tuesday against Toronto.
The Z Files: Second-Half Bullpen and Basepath Observations
100 days ago
Todd Zola digs into recent stolen base and bullpen numbers looking for an edge and notes that Trea Turner isn't the only National who's been tearing up the basepaths lately.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
112 days ago
Jan Levine continues to guide us along the latest path of free-agent possibilities, including some up-and-coming pitchers and a couple serviceable infielders.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Pillar now has three full major-league seasons in the books, and at this point, it seems safe to say that he is what he is. His walk rate has ranged from 4.1 percent to 5.2 percent over the past three years, while his strikeout rate has ranged from 13.5 to 15.4. There is only modest thump in his bat to go with the lackluster on-base skills (27.3 percent hard-hit rate last season), but Pillar compensates on the defensive end. Speed is his most appealing attribute in fantasy, but Pillar only attempted five steals in the second half last season and was caught two of those times. While Pillar did improve greatly against lefties last season, he gave all of that back with another decline in performance against right-handers (.230/.274/.354). Expecting a step forward in his age-29 season seems misguided, but Pillar will play every day and figures to produce something close to his three-year averages.
With leadoff man Devon Travis on the mend to open 2016, Pillar was afforded the top spot in one of the most potent batting orders in baseball. Unfortunately, he was unable to lock down the role, hitting just .198/.231/.291 in 86 at-bats as Toronto's table setter. Despite the disappointment, Pillar found a home at the bottom of the lineup and hit .277 when penciled in at the bottom third of the order, including .324/.369/.419 in 148 at-bats as the eighth hitter. Pillar is a solid contact hitter (82.2 percent rate in 2016) but has minimal power for an outfielder (.109 ISO) and doesn't get on base enough (.303 career OBP) to make him more than a below-average offensive threat (80 wRC+ last season). After swiping 25 bags in 2015, the 27-year-old disappointed by stealing just 14 bases on 20 tries. The center fielder's elite defense will continue to make him a mainstay in the Jays lineup, but fantasy leagues don't award points for web gems. A spot near the bottom of the lineup also caps his fantasy upside.
Pillar earned the starting center field job for the Jays and rode it out the entire season. He was mostly in there for his amazing outfield defense, but Pillar held his own at the plate, as he hit .278/.314/.399, tied his professional season high with 12 home runs and added 25 stolen bases in an efficient 29 attempts (86 percent success rate). After striking out nearly one out of every four plate appearances in his first season, Pillar nearly slashed his strikeout rate in half, as he struck out just 85 times in 628 plate appearances (13.5 percent). Combine that contact rate with his speed and Pillar should be able to maintain a solid batting average going forward. Pillar will also be in one of the best lineups in the league again next season with the Blue Jays, so a high run total like last year’s 76 is certainly possible again.
Pillar posted the best numbers of his professional career at Triple-A Buffalo last season, swatting 10 homers and stealing 27 bases in 33 attempts while carrying an .868 OPS. He appeared in 53 games for the Jays, where his strikeout rate spiked upon promotion to the big leagues for the second straight year (24.6 career K% in MLB). The departure of Anthony Gose will help to clear Pillar's path to a place on the Opening Day roster, but that route could be obstructed if the Jays acquire veteran outfield help through free agency or trade. At 26, he doesn't have much left to prove at Triple-A, and Pillar could exceed expectations if he finds a way to cut back on the strikeouts against top-level pitching. More likely, he'll end up on the small side of a platoon in the long run, after pounding lefties at Buffalo (.387/.400/.645) and posting a mediocre line against righties (.259/.316/.424).
Pillar reached the majors for the first time in 2013, producing an unsightly .206/.250/.333 line over 110 plate appearances. He fared much better at Triple-A Buffalo, where he turned in a .299/.341/.493 line after earning a midseason promotion from Double-A New Hampshire. Pillar's lack of power has allowed him to fly under the radar as a prospect, even though he possesses good speed and above average contact skills. He'll probably be more of a fourth or fifth outfielder than a starter, and he could compete for a reserve role in spring training.
More Fantasy News
Gets breather in season finale
OFSan Francisco Giants  
September 29, 2019
Pillar is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Dodgers, Maria I. Guardado of reports.
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Tallies 14th steal
OFSan Francisco Giants  
September 28, 2019
Pillar went 0-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base, an RBI and a run scored in Friday's 9-2 loss to the Dodgers.
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Scores twice, swipes bag
OFSan Francisco Giants  
September 18, 2019
Pillar went 3-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base and two runs Wednesday against the Red Sox.
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Day off Sunday
OFSan Francisco Giants  
September 15, 2019
Pillar is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Marlins.
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On base three times
OFSan Francisco Giants  
September 7, 2019
Pillar went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in Friday's 5-4 win over the Dodgers.
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