2015 Best Hustle Winner: Kevin Pillar
Perhaps this article is proof that hustle and improvement go hand in hand. Pillar won the earlier J.J. YEA for similar reasons to his teammate Goins; his bat improved to the point where it complimented his true strength on defense. Pillar always had the drive to go after every ball like he could catch it, and he caught almost every single one:
By this point it should get harder to find clips of Pillar covering ranges beyond the grasp of mere mortals, yet he has his own personal highlight reel full. YouTube user Bryce Nickerson compiled almost six minutes worth and still probably left others on the cutting room floor.
In response to the Play of the Year award, Jays Journal reader “Jeff” wondered how Pillar’s Spiderman catch against Tampa Bay failed to make the cut. Perhaps it’s because it did not seem like an extraordinary play for Pillar? It’s almost become automatic to think that Pillar will be able to track down any ball in center field. He’s that good. He’s that driven. He’s got the competitive fire and the legs to make it to almost any ball he chooses.
That’s why the Jays Journal writing staff saw fit to bestow upon Pillar his second J.J. YEA. I’m sure he’ll be upset he doesn’t have more.