Kevin Pillar Made the Longest Catch of 2015
If we learned one thing about Kevin Pillar in 2015, it’s that can cover a lot of ground on the outfield.
Whether it’s in left, right or centre field, there were very few baseballs which made it past him in 2015. The man was a human highlight reel for the Blue Jays last season and put forth a five-win season. Yes, five wins!
So it should come as no surprise that Kevin Pillar made the longest play recorded for an out by an outfielder in 2015. Via Daren Willman of Baseball Savant and now MLB Statcast, here’s a breakdown of the impressive catch by Pillar.
This is a 2D Statcast breakdown of Kevin Pillar’s (CF) longest distance covered to record an out, 117.5 feet. pic.twitter.com/Fm57i5x2rM
— Daren Willman (@darenw) January 12, 2016
But here’s the interesting thing; it’s not the catch that you’d expect. If you were thinking it might be Pillar’s wall-leaping grab or the Superman catch in Tampa Bay, you’d be surprisingly mistaken. Here’s the video below of said catch, where Kevin Pillar made it 117.5 feet to record an out.
In comparison to the other catches, this one might not be as sexy as robbing a home run or laying out to make a midair catch, but it’s incredible to see how much distance Pillar actually covered in this play. He was in medium depth centre field and tracked the ball all the way to Tropicana Field’s warning track, just short of the outfield wall.
According to to Statcast, Kevin Pillar ran at a speed close to 20 MPH (32 KM/H for Canadian folks), which boggles my mind. He man can run faster than the top speed of my very first car.
Now, I’ll admit that “longest catch” title may be a bit of a misnomer; it kind of insinuates Kevin Pillar traveled the longest distance midair to make a catch in 2015, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was tops in that category as well.
Some of the best outfielders have the ability to make difficult plays look completely effortless … and this catch in question by Kevin Pillar was a prime example.
Image via Tom Szczerbowski
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