We continue our pre-season look at the players who could make up the Fisher Cats roster for all or part of the 2013 season. Today, we venture into the outfield where one player has some big shoes to fill in center field, Kevin Pillar.
Pillar split his 2012 season between Class-A Lansing of the Midwest League and Advanced-A Dunedin of the Florida State League, putting up very respectable numbers at each level. He was named the Midwest League MVP, despite playing in only 86 games with the Lugnuts, hitting .322 with 57 RBI and 35 stolen bases. In total, he stole 51 bases, placing him tenth in the minor leagues.
After the season, Pillar spent part of his off-season in the Arizona Fall League. Despite playing part time, he hit .371, picking up base hits in 12 of his 15 games. He produced a handful of three-hit games and also stole 8 bases during the AFL regular season.
The 24-year old from West Hills, CA is an excellent defensive outfielder as well. He played all three outfield positions last season, committing only four errors in 219 total chances, and also racked up seven assists.
Pillar began his professional career with Rookie-A Bluefield of the Appalachian League in 2011, and hit .347 with 17 doubles in 60 games. He was named to the Appalachian League post-season all-star team.
Drafted out of Cal-State Dominguez Hills in the 32nd round of the 2011 draft, Pillar set the NCAA Division II record with a 54-game hitting streak during his senior year.
In his two season pro career, Pillar owns a .331 average, with 45 doubles, 128 RBI, and 59 stolen bases in 188 games.
When Pillar gets to New Hampshire, it won't be easy. Not only will he be facing Double-A pitching for the first time, but he'll be the next in a recent string of star center fielders following the likes of Anthony Gose and Jake Marisnick.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.