Kevin Pillar Plays the Outfield Like a Wide Receiver
Kevin Pillar plays the outfield unlike anybody else. Not just because he’s able to track down a lot of fly balls most outfielders can’t, it’s because Pillar uses his experience from other sports to make him a better baseball player.
In high school, Pillar excelled in a number of sports. All these years later, we’re beginning to see how being a multi-sport athlete shaped the way Pillar plays centre field for the Blue Jays.
He spoke about it with MLB Network last night following yet another highlight reel catch.
Did @KPILLAR4 make the catch of the year last night for the @BlueJays? #MLBTonight #BallparkCam pic.twitter.com/1RORxavRz0
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 9, 2017
In case you missed it, Pillar explained how he plays centre field like a wide receiver. Looking back at several of his incredible catches and the routes he takes in the outfield, it totally makes sense.
“I’m a big advocate for guys playing a lot of sports. I’ll tell people that was something I didn’t learn on the baseball field.
I played basketball growing up, I played soccer, I played soccer, but that’s just kind of my football background. I’m running a route – quarterback led me perfectly – all I had to do was catch the ball and I’m in the end zone.”
Pillar also mentioned this with reporters during his post game scrum:
Kevin Pillar on his diving catch and the instinct to properly time a dive.
Great case for young athletes playing multiple sports. #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/KUBEnlKyDC
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 9, 2017
Now it’s suddenly very clear why Pillar dives the way he does in the outfield. It’s also the same reason why you don’t see very many outfielders make the plays that Pillar does. It’s because he treats the outfield and the warning track like the end zone of a football field.
Admittedly, Pillar’s style isn’t the safest way to play and continuing at this pace may not ensure a long and productive career as an outfielder, but in the short term, it’s incredibly exciting to watch.
Who knows … maybe if the show “Superstars” makes a comeback, Kevin Pillar could really flex his muscle as a multi-sport athlete.