Blue Jays: Five Surprise Players in Spring Training

Feb 15, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) talks as he watches pitchers and catchers warm up before the first work out at Cecil P. Englebert Recreation Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 15, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) talks as he watches pitchers and catchers warm up before the first work out at Cecil P. Englebert Recreation Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 21, 2017; Sarasota, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) at bat against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2017; Sarasota, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) at bat against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Kevin Pillar

Initially, I was not going to include Kevin Pillar as a spring surprise seeing he is an everyday regular. However, Pillar seems to have made significant adjustments to his approach and although a small sample size appears to have rounded the corner offensively.

Pillar is batting .350 with 14 hits, 6 doubles and a triple in 40 at-bats. The real kicker is that Pillar has walked five times while only striking out four times all spring. The defensive highlight reel only walked a total of 24 times all last season. His 15 game spring slash line is All-Star worthy at .350/.422/.550, however, Pillar has only swiped one base in four attempts, a surprisingly low success rate thus far.

If Pillar can actually put it all together offensively he would absolutely solidify an already potent attack. If Devon Travis is healthy and presumably in the leadoff spot, Pillar could slot as the number nine hitter in the lineup offering some speed on the bases before the lineup turns over to the big guns.

The 28-year old volunteered to play in a minor league affair earlier this week just to work on bunting, he bunted in seven consecutive at-bats attempting to reach for base hits each time. Pillar is poised to add that element to his repertoire this season which would be a welcomed addition to compliment his speed.

This season could be an exciting one for “KP” if his spring training numbers are any indication.

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