Rockies Strike Again, Trade For Kevin Pillar
The Rockies added another name to their collection of outfielders Monday afternoon, trading a player to be named later and 2019-20 international slot money for Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar.
Pillar will bring his solid glove and improved bat to an outfield unit led by Charlie Blackmon that also includes Raimel Tapia, David Dahl (who is currently on the 10-day injured list) and Garrett Hampson.
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Blackmon has been one of the best pure hitters in baseball this season, and Tapia has given the Rockies solid production as well, but Dahl and Hampson have both struggled offensively.
Kevin Pillar, OF
Pillar has always been known as a defense-first player since entering the league, but in 2020 the 31-year-old outfielder is hitting .274/.325/.470 with a career-best 109 OPS+ through 30 games. Even if Pillar’s offensive contributions settle into more of his career-norm range (around a 90 OPS+), he brings a steady glove and good speed to any outfield.
Pillar has primarily played right field for the Red Sox—who have the excellent glove of Jackie Bradley Jr. in center—but can handle all three outfield spots and is more than capable in the middle of the grass. Pillar is currently in the 76th percentile in terms of outs above average according to Statcast, and also ranks in the 82nd percentile in terms of sprint speed.
Podcast: Pillar On 20-Round Draft, His 32nd-Round Experience
Kevin Pillar joined Alexis Brudnicki to share the experience he had of being drafted in the 32nd round of the 2011 selection process.
Jacob Wallace, RHP
Wallace was the Rockies' third-round pick in 2019 after spending three years in the bullpen with Connecticut. A straight relief prospect, Wallace comes right at hitters with a mid-to-upper-90s fastball that touched 97 in the short-season Northwest League. He finished hitters with a mid-80s slider that spun at around 2,800 rpms. Hitters in the NWL swung and missed at the pitch 60 percent of the time. Though he did not need one in college, Wallace had been working on a changeup as a professional.