Mets Shouldn’t Pursue Pillar

The Mets missed out on George Springer, so the need for CF help hasn’t been addressed. One name that has flown around amongst fans is Kevin Pillar. While I understand why, it’s not the route I would go to adress the need.

Kevin Pillar is most known for his highlight real plays. He can make plays that will blow your mind. However, according to OAA, he is still seen as a below average CFder. Especially over the last two seasons, he combined a minus 3. For reference Nimmo is also at minus 3 over the last two seasons in center field, so Pillar isn’t really a defensive upgrade, like many believe he is.

Yes Pillar is able to make the highlight plays that makes it to Sportcenter. That’s what fans see and that’s why they still see him as the center fielder he once was. However over the last two seasons the main issue with Pillar is his jump/range. His feet covered vs. Average is at minus 1.1, way below average. His main issue is his burst and reaction to the ball. His routes are above average, but not enough to make up for his lack of his first step. It’s an issue for Pillar since 2017, as he has been below average in burst and reaction since then.

It shows in his ability to go back in balls. He was stunningly bad with a minus 5 OAA, when he had to go back on balls. This, like reaction/burst, has been an issue since 2017 for Pillar.

Pillar’s bat isn’t enough to justify him in center and with the Mets having enough corner outfielders, he isn’t a fit there. Pillar collected a .798 OPS in 2020, which is very solid for a center fielder. However, it’s not close to Nimmo’s .880 OPS. Also Pillar played in two hitter friendly ballparks in Coors Field and Fenway. Before 2020, his career high OPS was .719 in 2019. I don’t see Pillar’s 2020 numbers being sustainable in a full season.

Baseball Savant

Like the title says, the Mets shouldn’t target Pillar. His defense isn’t as good as many think and his offense won’t justify him and his below average defense. Also the Mets don’t need a corner outfielder, where Pillar is still a very good defender.

To me the Mets need to look at guys like JBJ, Kikè Hernandez or Jake Marisnick as platoon center field options. All can play good defense and have some level of succes with the bat in a platoon role.

I want to thank Frank Caggino from Frank About Sports, as he mentioned Pillar in his latest video. Give him a follow as he makes great Mets content.

Photo by: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

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