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Ranking the 10 greatest outfielders in Blue Jays history

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 24: Kevin Pillar #11 and Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrate after Pillar hit a home run in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 24, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 24: Kevin Pillar #11 and Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrate after Pillar hit a home run in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 24, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – MAY 18: Kevin Pillar #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays dives but cannot catch a bloop double hit by Jed Lowrie #8 of the Oakland Athletics in the sixth inning during MLB game action at Rogers Centre on May 18, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kevin Pillar;Jed Lowrie /

The Toronto Blue Jays made a big splash last offseason signing George Springer to the richest contract in franchise history. He’s expected to be one of the franchise’s next great outfielders in the coming years.

Coming up with the 10 greatest outfielders in Jays’ history was hard, but easier than the list I came up with regarding the greatest infielders.

10. Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar is a rare example of a player picked late in the MLB Draft (32nd round) and winded up having a very successful career in the Major Leagues (and still going). Pillar has played nine years in the MLB, seven of them with the Blue Jays.

In Toronto, he never hit above .280 and also never hit more than 16 home runs.  Never drove in more than 59 runs. With the bat, he was nothing special. He was a below-average hitter as he consistently had WRC+ numbers below 100 as a Blue Jay according to Fangraphs.

His best offensive season came in 2015 when he hit 12 home runs and posted a .713 OPS. Not great, but when you combine that with Gold Glove-caliber defense, you get a 5.2 bWAR player.

Pillar didn’t get his nickname “Superman” for no reason. He made some of the most acrobatic catches in the outfield you’ll ever see.

Who are the 10 greatest Blue Jays outfielders in franchise history?

Despite somehow never winning a Gold Glove, Pillar was one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. From 2015 to 2018, Pillar put up 52 DRS. That was the second-highest mark among centre fielders.

Pillar ranks 5th in defensive WAR and 20th in WAR overall among position players in Blue Jays history according to baseball-reference.

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