Former Braves outfielder has somehow found his wings with Angels

Kevin Pillar spent one season with Atlanta. He split most of his playing time with Eddie Rosario. Now, he is replacing one of baseball's biggest names in a mighty way.
Los Angeles Angels v Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

When the Los Angeles Angels lost superstar Mike Trout for the season, they quickly searched for someone to fill that gap. Ron Washington and the Angels landed on former Atlanta Braves outfielder Kevin Pillar who was available in free agency and who had really wanted to return to Atlanta before signing in LA.

The Angels signed Pillar on April 30th, just a few days before Trout underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. We can all probably agree that replacing Mike Trout's production is near impossible but Pillar has shocked the baseball world by doing just that in a short amount of time.

Kevin Pillar's career turnaround after leaving Braves has shocked everyone

Since heading out west, Kevin Pillar has played in 21 games. Over this span, he is currently hitting .389 (28 for 72) with 5 home runs and 21 runs batted in. These are good numbers for anyone in Major League Baseball but especially for Pillar.

In his 12 year career, Pillar's highest batting average season was the shortened Covid year of 2020 where he hit .288. His next highest was in 2015 when he hit .278. To put into perspective how scorching hot Pillar is at the moment, we wanted to compare his career 162 game average with what his current 162 game average since putting on an Angels uniform.

For his career, Kevin Pillar averages the following statistics through a full 162 games: .259 batting average with 16 home runs and 63 runs batted in. He also averages stealing 14 bases. Now since joining the Angels, the numbers are much higher.

There is no real way to calculate what his batting average will be over 162 games, but let's be realistic and say it drops .100 points. He would still be hitting .289 which would be his best batting average season of his career. If he stays at the pace he has been at for the last 21 games (we know that is not realistic either) he would finish 2024 with 35 home runs and 147 runs batted in. Pillar has also swiped four bases already in his time in LA.

Kevin Pillar may be one of the biggest threats in Major League Baseball right now. Seeing him reunite with Ron Washington and be more than successful could be a tough pill for some Braves fans to swallow at the moment. With the way 2024 has went so far, some Braves fans would rather see Pillar over Duvall in left field for Atlanta.

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