Pillar makes presence felt with amazing grab

Pillar makes presence felt with amazing grab

NEW YORK -- Another day, another highlight-reel catch for Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar.

Pillar has made impressive grabs part of his regular routine, and he was back at it again on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The Blue Jays ended up losing, 5-0, but not before Pillar made his presence felt in the first inning.

Carlos Beltran hit a deep fly ball to center field that appeared destined to go over the head of Pillar. Instead of a double, Pillar sprawled out to make a leaping grab and somehow managed to hang onto the ball upon landing. According to Statcast™, Pillar covered 73.7 feet on the catch and his route efficiency was 94.1 percent.

"He amazes out there, he's such a hard-nosed player and sells out and you can never fault his effort," starter R.A. Dickey said. "Even when he dives for balls and misses them, they're balls you think nobody has a shot at and he barely misses them. He's special, I'm glad he's on our team, he's saved us a whole bunch of runs that's for sure."

According to Fangraphs, Pillar ranks second in the American League among outfielders in defensive runs saved (20). Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is the leader with 37.

That's an impressive feat for Pillar, who is playing every day in center field for the first time in his career at the Major League level. Pillar also contributed one of Toronto's four hits on Sunday afternoon with a double in the second inning, but he was promptly picked off second base by New York starter Masahiro Tanaka.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.