Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays outfielder, nabs Wilson defensive player award
Toronto centre fielder only American League player selected
It wasn't gold but it was a prestigious honour for defensive prowess that was awarded to centre fielder Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Pillar, who was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year by the sporting goods company on Wednesday.
Pillar, who finished second to Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier in the Gold Glove awards handed out Tuesday, topped the voting conducted by Wilson. Pillar, 26, captivated Canada and all Major League Baseball fans with a season full of unbelievable catches, including a memorable scaling of the Rogers Centre left-field fence to prevent a home run in April.
"He's a highlight reel," Blue Jays interim general manager Tony LaCava said of Pillar.
Pillar was the only American League player named among the nine players chosen for each position on the field.
Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta Braves shortstop, was selected as the overall individual winner. Simmons, who won his position for the third year in a row, was one of two 2014 winners who repeated, along with St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward.
The awards, which began in 2012, are determined by a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, including data from the scouting service Inside Edge.
Here is the complete list of winners:
- First base: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Second base: Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins
- Third base: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
- Shortstop: Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta Braves
- Left field: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Centre field: Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays
- Right field: Jason Heyward, St. Louis Cardinals
- Pitcher: Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
- Catcher: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
- Defensive team: Arizona Diamondbacks