You know that person in your family - every family has one - who just has to quote movie lines, over and over?
You’ll mention the upcoming meeting with your boss, and that family member will pooch his lips together and say, “make him an offer he can’t refuse,” and you’ll awkwardly nod along like, yeah Uncle Rob, we’ve all seen The Godfather. They’ll shout, “STEEELLLLLAAAA” for no apparent reason, and occasionally hit you with some line that’s so obscure that you think it might be made up, but it’s not worth the effort to ask.
Anytime you walk by each other, that relative dons his best Hoffman impression and yells, “I’m walking here!” at you.
Kevin Pillar is not that relative. Because Kevin Pillar is never walking here.
Wow. That was truly horrible, and I sincerely apologize. I clearly have some unexplored social annoyances that I should take a deeper look at soon.
Let’s start over: Kevin Pillar has had 443 plate appearances this year, and 426 with the San Francisco Giants.
He has walked 12 times. I repeat: He has walked 12 times.
When Pillar comes up to bat, it is as likely that his appearance will end with a double-play as it will with a walk. It is more likely that he’ll hit a home run than draw a walk.
When Pillar taps the lumbar to his toes, then gazes longingly at his bat, before stepping into the chalk-defined box, he’s more than four times as likely to ultimately score a run than to be issued foul balls.
Pillar’s walk rate on the year is 2.7%. With the Giants, it’s 2.8%. If you’re thinking, “Hey, some people just don’t walk a lot, that’s pretty normal,” well . . . not to this extreme, no.
If Pillar continues at this pace - and 443 plate appearances is certainly a decently predictive sample - he’ll become the first Giants player this decade to have such a low walk rate in at least 300 plate appearances. You have to go back to to the year 1 BP (Before Posey), to find 2009 Bengie Molina, who walked just 13 times in 520 plate appearances, good for a rate of 2.5%.
If you lower the qualifier to 100 plate appearances, Pillar is still one of just seven Giants players this decade to have a rate below 4.0%, joining 2013 Joaquin Arias (1.7%), 2012 Hector Sanchez (2.2%), 2018 Alen Hanson (2.9%), 2017 Eduardo Nunez (3.8%), 2015 Marlon Byrd (3.8%) and 2014 Arias (3.9%). Bless their souls.
There’s reason to expect Pillar to improve - this is the worst walk rate of his career. But even if it happens, don’t expect much. Pillar has never been one to walk; his 5.2% rate in 2017 is the highest mark in his career, which, to put it into perspective, is significantly worse than Pablo Sandoval’s career mark.
So if anyone asks you, “will Kevin Pillar walk today?”, just say no. Chances are, you’ll look like you know things.