Giants: Potential landing spots for free agent Kevin Pillar

Former Giants outfielder Kevin Pillar. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Former Giants outfielder Kevin Pillar. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon. /

Despite playing half of their games at the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field every year, the Colorado Rockies struggled to get meaningful production out of their outfield contingent in 2019.

That group includes Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Raimel Tapia, and David Dahl.

Dahl and Blackmon were positive contributors on offense while generating a 109 OPS+ and 123 OPS+, respectively. However, injuries continue to plague Dahl as he appeared in only 100 games last season.

In addition to those two, Tapia and Desmond received significant playing time as well. Both Tapia and Desmond were far below league average hitters as evidenced by their 74 OPS+ and 88 OPS+, respectively. That said, both players seem to hit well against the San Francisco Giants, so perhaps they would produce more if Major League Baseball scheduled more inter-division games.

Regardless, there is room for improvement. Pillar posted a 89 OPS+ in 2019, which is not a major improvement over Desmond, but Tapia received 447 plate appearances in 2019 where he was 26 percent worse than the league average hitter. The Rockies could certainly find a way to get better production from that area in 2020.

On defense, the Rockies outfielders struggled mightily with the glove in 2019:

  • Desmond: -19 DRS, -11.9 UZR
  • Blackmon: -8 DRS, -10.7 UZR
  • Tapia: -4 DRS, -6.3 UZR
  • Dahl: -11 DRS, -4.1 UZR

According to the metrics, each of the outfielders listed above was below average defensively by a pretty wide margin

Pillar is no longer the defensive wizard he was in his days with the Blue Jays, but he would be a considerable upgrade with the glove compared to the outfielders the Rockies used in 2019.

With that being said, the Rockies may have a limited payroll space for 2020 as much of their financial wherewithal is tied up to the bullpen as well as with Desmond, Blackmon, and Nolan Arenado.

Regardless, they need to get better production from their outfielders in 2020. Adding Pillar would help in achieving that end without breaking the bank or handing out a long-term commitment.

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As has been rumored, Pillar has plenty of interested suitors already. While a bidding war is unlikely, Pillar should be able to use this as leverage to land a modest deal for 2020.