How Did Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar Transform Into a Fierce Hitter Overnight?

The Blue Jays’ fortunes are starting to look up. A five-game winning streak took some of the sting off a brutal start. Aaron Sanchez is back from the disabled list, and Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, and Francisco Liriano could all return in the next few days. After weeks of misery, optimism is taking hold.

Amid the ebbs and flows of this tumultuous season, the team’s leader in Wins Above Replacement has been one of the league’s biggest surprises. Long known as a defensive stalwart, he’s evolved into a potent all-around hitter, combining power with an out-of-nowhere improvement in plate discipline. If you predicted Kevin Pillar as Blue Jays MVP one-quarter of the way through the 2017 season, you’re a damn genius, and possibly a prophet.

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