Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

35-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Chicago White Sox
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Pillar spent the 2023 campaign with Atlanta and had a .228/.248/.416 slash line in 81 contests. The 35-year-old signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox in February, giving him a decent path to a roster spot. Pillar typically fared better against left-handed pitching throughout his career, but that was especially the case last season with a .734 OPS versus lefties compared to a .580 OPS against righties, likely setting up his best-case scenario as a short-side platoon option. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a one-year contract with the White Sox in March of 2024.
Hits cleanup again
OFChicago White Sox
April 13, 2024
Pillar went 1-for-2 with a walk Saturday against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
Pillar didn't have a particularly notable game, but he did hit cleanup for a second consecutive contest. Both have come against lefties, and all four of his starts on the year have come in that matchup. Though Pillar is currently on the short side of a platoon, he could see his playing time tick up due to the number of injuries the White Sox have faced early on.
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Batting Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+52%
OPS vs LHP
2024
 
 
-100%
OPS vs LHP
2023
 
 
+26%
OPS vs LHP
2022
 
 
-100%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022vs Left .774 129 17 6 20 3 .256 .295 .479
Since 2022vs Right .508 109 13 3 14 2 .176 .204 .304
2024vs Left 1.000 14 0 0 2 1 .300 .500 .500
2024vs Right .000 5 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
2023vs Left .733 111 16 6 18 2 .250 .261 .472
2023vs Right .580 95 13 3 14 2 .202 .232 .348
2022vs Left 1.167 4 1 0 0 0 .333 .500 .667
2022vs Right .000 9 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+22%
OPS on Road
2024
 
 
+2%
OPS at Home
2023
 
 
+26%
OPS on Road
2022
 
 
-100%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022Home .581 104 13 3 13 3 .186 .240 .340
Since 2022Away .708 134 17 6 21 2 .246 .263 .444
2024Home .750 12 0 0 0 1 .222 .417 .333
2024Away .733 7 0 0 2 0 .200 .333 .400
2023Home .574 82 12 3 13 2 .190 .220 .354
2023Away .724 124 17 6 19 2 .254 .266 .458
2022Home .422 10 1 0 0 0 .111 .200 .222
2022Away .000 3 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
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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.
  • BABIP
    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.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.75
 
BB Rate
15.8%
 
K Rate
21.1%
 
BABIP
.300
 
ISO
.143
 
AVG
.214
 
OBP
.389
 
SLG
.357
 
OPS
.746
 
wOBA
.346
 
Exit Velocity
84.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
27.3%
 
Barrels/PA
5.3%
 
Expected BA
.210
 
Expected SLG
.382
 
Sprint Speed
 
Ground Ball %
20.0%
 
Line Drive %
40.0%
 
Fly Ball %
40.0%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Hoped for return to Atlanta
OFChicago White Sox
April 2, 2024
According to Justin Toscano of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pillar's top priority during the offseason was to re-sign with Atlanta before he ultimately joined the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
The 35-year-old spent the 2023 campaign in Atlanta and posted a .664 OPS in 81 games, but the organization decided to acquire Jarred Kelenic and Adam Duvall during the offseason to bolster its outfield. Pillar's landing spot in Chicago should provide him a decent chance at regular playing time, but his .225/.263/.408 slash since 2021 is unlikely to move the needle for fantasy managers.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
When Pillar failed to crack the Dodgers' Opening Day roster last season, the consequence was his first non-rehab stint in the minors since 2014. To his credit, the veteran outfielder didn't shy away from the assignment, slashing .315/.412/.622 with nine homers and 34 RBI over 35 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City. The impressive performance helped Pillar earn his way back up to the majors, but the opportunity to show what he still has left in the tank came to an abrupt stop after less than a week due to a shoulder injury that required surgery and essentially ended his season. Pillar managed to recover in time to squeeze in a few more Triple-A appearances near the end of the campaign, so the shoulder injury should no longer be a concern, but it's uncertain where he may fit on a big-league roster during his age-34 season. He's no longer a plus defender and has never been more than an average MLB hitter, so a best-case scenario may have Pillar in a platoon role on a squad lacking outfield depth.
Pillar probably wants to forget about last season and just move on. His .231 average was the worst since his rookie season. After playing almost every day over the prior six seasons, Pillar only accumulated 347 plate appearances in 2021 as a result of an IL stint and the Mets having too many outfielders. He ended up on the short side of a platoon (career .771 OPS vs. LHP, .679 OPS vs. RHP). The main reason for his decline last season was his 23.3 K%, a seven-year high. Since he never walks (career 4.0 BB%), he only had a .277 OBP. Pillar tried to hit more home runs by pulling the ball and going for more loft. A career-best 13.3 HR/FB% came with the rest of his profile tanking. His fantasy value comes down to the team with which he signs and how much that team is willing to start him.
Pillar continued his run on a carousel of teams in 2020, as he was traded from Boston to the Rockies at the trade deadline. In his age-31 season, he posted a career-best .795 OPS with Boston over the first half of 2020, and he maintained his production with the Rockies to finish with a .798 OPS on the year. Pillar took fewer walks over the past several years, but his walk rate more than doubled to 5.8% in 2020. His hitting statistics didn't suffer, and he posted a career-best .335 BABIP, along with a 36.5% hard-hit rate. He had some difficulty putting his bat to the ball at times with a 12.5% swinging-strike rate and decreased 86.4 Z-Contact%, but he was still a solid producer as he seeks a new contract during free agency. The 32-year-old helped his case with a strong finish to the season and could land another starting job in 2021, but his boosted results may not be sustainable over 162 games.
Pillar's career path has taken some interesting turns of late. He has made a deliberate decision not to accept walks and be more aggressive at the plate. The approach led to a career-high in homers, his best contact rate in four seasons and 171 runs-plus-RBI. Yet, he has become very pull happy, with 2019 seeing him pull nearly 50% of his balls in play and also seeing him hit below .260 for a third consecutive season. Pillar can still go get baseballs in the outfield, and has been a consistent mid-teens steals guy the past few seasons despite a poor on-base percentage over that span. He was non-tendered by the Giants this offseason and may have to settle for a fourth-outfielder role in free agency. Pillar has always been better in real life than fantasy and he needs regular playing time to compile enough counting stats to be relevant in most formats.
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.
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
Will sit vs. righty Saturday
OFChicago White Sox
March 30, 2024
Pillar is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Tigers.
ANALYSIS
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Inks MLB deal with South Siders
OFChicago White Sox
March 24, 2024
Pillar signed a major-league contract with the White Sox on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Released by White Sox
OFFree Agent
March 22, 2024
The White Sox released Pillar on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Signs with ChiSox
OFChicago White Sox
February 2, 2024
Pillar signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Drives in three in doubleheader
OFAtlanta Braves
September 24, 2023
Pillar went 2-for-6 with a two-run home run and an additional RBI over both games of Sunday's doubleheader versus the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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