The term “defensive-minded” is not meant to be an insult.
It’s simply a way of describing a player who provides the bulk of his value with his glove, while more times than not struggling to produce at a league-average level offensively.
Kevin Pillar is a defensive-minded player.
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He entered the 2019 season with an 87 OPS+ for his career, meaning he’s produced at about 13 percent below a league-average rate at the plate.
Yet, thanks to his defensive prowess in center field, he’s been worth 14.6 WAR during that same span of time.
However, last week, Pillar was anything but defensive-minded.
After hitting a grand slam on Monday, he became the first Giants player since Barry Bonds in 2002, according to Kerry Crowley of The Mercury News, to log back-to-back four-RBI games.
I wrote an article on Tuesday morning highlighting in jest that Pillar was on pace for 179 RBI with the Giants this season.
Well, after driving in just one run in Wednesday’s game, that’s dropped slightly to a 177-RBI pace.
That should be far more sustainable, right?
Regardless, this “defensive-minded” player has made as memorable a first impression with the bat as any Giants player in recent memory.