The Toronto Blue Jays today purchased the contract of outfielder and former Fisher Cat Kevin Pillar, promoting him to the major leagues for the first time in his career. Pillar, who began his season with the Fisher Cats, will make his debut tonight batting eighth and playing left field against the Boston Red Sox at 7:07 p.m. Pillar becomes the 66th former Fisher Cat to debut in the big leagues, and the fourth this season.
Pillar, 24, appeared in 71 games for the Fisher Cats at the start of the season, batting .313 and leading the Eastern League with 95 hits before a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo on June 21. He had 28 multi-hit games for the Fisher Cats, which is still good enough for a tie for first on the team. During his stay in Buffalo, he batted .299 over 52 games, collecting 60 hits total, including 19 doubles and an additional 15 multi-hit games.
Pillar was named the Class-A Midwest League Most Valuable Player last year, playing for the Lansing Lugnuts and posting a .322 average while stealing 35 bases. He played in only 86 games for the Lugnuts before a promotion to Advanced-A Dunedin where he hit .323 and stole 16 more bases, giving him a total of 51 swipes in 60 tries on the year. The 51 successful steals was good for second in the entire Blue Jays organization.
The Blue Jays 32nd-round selection in the 2011 draft out of Division II Cal-State Dominguez-Hills, where he set the all-time Division II hit streak record at 54 games, Pillar is currently rated as Toronto's 16th-best prospect, according MLB.com, breaking into the top-20 with his strong showing this season.
He becomes the fourth former Fisher Cat to make his major league debut this season, and second with Toronto, following starting pitcher Sean Nolin on May 24. He is now the 66th in the team's ten seasons in Manchester to advance to the majors for the first time after playing for the Fisher Cats. Jonathan Diaz (Boston Red Sox), and Jake Marisnick (Miami Marlins) also made their major league debuts earlier this season.
The Fisher Cats return home for their final weekend series of the regular season on Friday, with the first of three games against the Future Yankees, the Trenton Thunder. Atlas Fireworks will follow the game on both Friday and Saturday, and Friday will include a Scout Night Sleepover on the field. Tickets start as low as $6 and can be purchased in person at the stadium box office, over the phone at 603-641-2005, or online at www.nhfishercats.com.