San Francisco Giants center fielder Kevin Pillar made one of the best defensive plays of 2019 on Saturday night, while left fielder Mike Gerber showed off his strong arm.
The San Francisco Giants have one of the best defensive teams in baseball, but outfield defense has not been a strength in recent years.
That’s part of the reason that Kevin Pillar was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this season. He delivered some memorable moments with the bat in his first few weeks with the team, but his biggest contributions were always going to come with the glove.
That was certainly the case on Saturday.
While the 30-year-old has made some phenomenal catches over the years, the one he made scaling the center field wall at Great American Ballpark last night has to rank right near the top.
Here’s a look at the catch:
San Francisco Chronicle beat writer John Shea offered up his take on an early contender for defensive player of the year hear in 2019:
The adjustment he made while already perched atop the wall is not nearly as easy as he made it look. That’s a Gold Glove-caliber play from a guy who has shockingly never won one.
Maybe this will be the year.
Not to be outdone, recently promoted left fielder Mike Gerber showed off a strong arm cutting down Yasiel Puig on what looked like a sure double off the bat.
Here’s the play:
Gerber, 26, hit his way onto the MLB roster after posting a .357/.402/.655 line in 92 plate appearances at Triple-A to begin the year.
However, he’s also capable of lining up at all three outfield positions, and he clearly has a strong arm than most left fielders.
The Giants ended up losing the game 9-2 with starter Dereck Rodriguez allowing a career-high eight hits and eight earned runs and the offense sputtering once again.
The defense continues to be a bright spot, though.
There’s a good chance that Pillar, Gerber and the others who roam the outfield grass will give Giants fans plenty more reasons to cheer before the season is over.