While we want to resist the urge to read too much into Spring Training performances, for better or worse, there is plenty of useful information to be digested. The problem is that every other fantasy owner is likely watching and thinking the same thing. That doesn’t mean there aren’t trends and information to take advantage of. What you know towards the end of draft season is not the same as what you knew when your 2019 preparations began.
At this point the goal with your late round draft picks is to forecast who the most buzz worthy early season FAAB candidates might be. That brings us to Kevin Pillar, who over the past month, has an NFBC ADP of 347.
While Pillar is known more so for his defense, not one of the five fantasy categories, it guarantees him his spot in the lineup. Currently forecast to bat sixth for Toronto we don’t have to worry about playing time or RBI opportunities for the well rounded outfielder.
The first problem with this situation, and the start at figuring why Pillar is going so late in drafts, lies in his RBI production (or the lack thereof). In 2017 he drove in just 42 runs, and even though he brought his total up to 59 last season he still could do a lot better. He also scored just 65 runs last season while hitting .252, which was a slight drop-off from his .261 career mark.
What puts Pillar on our radar, really as a fifth or sixth outfielder, is that his batting average isn’t a liability and he brings both power and speed to the table.
After hitting 16 home runs and stealing 15 bases in 2017, he followed that up with 15 long balls and 14 stolen bases last season. Another season of similar production, which is very possible, could come in handy as you build up the back end of your roster.
Just be careful not to expect much more than we have previously seen from Pillar as his 3% walk rate and infield fly ball rate of 18% will limit his value.